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TTG Middle East & North Africa 単 OCTOBER 2010 / 2011









duty free

contents >P.4 SHOP SHORTS: MEA




>P.30 CHECK OUT Europe


“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.”

3 Editor’s Note

19 Interview

4 Shop Shorts: MEA

20 Cash in UAE

10 Shop Shorts: ASIA

30 Check out Europe

15 Shop Shorts: NYC & Sydney

42 Special: Duty Free 46 Hotel Directory

Bo Derek



Chief Editor Alexandra North Supplement Editor Claudio Saghbini Contributors Emily Millett Andreas Stylianou Andrea Gutova Mario Hajiloizis Head Designer Ioanna Pattichi Designers Elena Stylianou Edward Beales

The shopaholic inside us all As much as many of us don’t like to admit it, there’s a guilty pleasure inside us all that craves a good old shopping spree every now and then – and why not? When done in a leisurely and stress-free mode, and preferably with financial well-being in mind, buying something nice, whether through necessity, boredom, self indulgence or pure impulse, can induce an inexplicably feel-good factor; even if just for a little while (or at least until you check your latest bank statement). So what is it that brings about this sensation and sends us scurrying back to the shops for more? Is it about the products themselves or the ‘amazing deal’ you bagged? Perhaps it was the ambience of the venue or the compliments received? Maybe it was just the fun of getting out of the house and going for a stroll? Whatever the reasons may be, shopping as an activity has the ability to lift your spirit, satisfy your need to connect socially with others and, interestingly, when combined with one of society’s other favourite pastimes – travelling – can prove to be a valuable and exciting experience. And so to the subject of shopping tourism – and the basis of the publication which sits before you. As with sports tourism, which we explored in our previous edition, shopping tourism is increasingly being considered by the travel trade as a market in its own right – a niche sector which is growing into one of the biggest income earning segments in the industry. By carefully studying and understanding tourist purchasing behaviour, it can be highly

Sales Director Michael Stansfield Sales and Marketing Manager Tony Fields

lucrative for those involved, particularly here in the MENA region, where the typical shopper is brandaware and fashion-conscious, and who many would confirm is the highest-spending shopper of all. Importantly for the travel trade, these people are also prepared to travel lengths to get what they want, and with increased accessibility between the region and beyond, these trendy, fasionista destinations are closer than ever before, opening up a host of exceptional shopping experiences for the MENA traveller to enjoy. And so in our commitment to providing you with up-to-date, relevant, valuable information, over the following pages we have outlined many of the key global retail experiences that would be of interest to you and your clients. From shopping malls, outlet villages and duty frees, to shopping festivals, trade exhibitions, and even some of the best-located hotels to stay in, we give you Shopping Tourism, a guide that will help you provide richer shopping experiences for your clients, and ensure they keep coming back to you for more – besides, they don’t call it retail therapy for nothing!

Executive Director Katherine Savvides

Supplement Editor Claudio Saghbini

Sales Executives Adrian Exley Maria Demetriadou Elaine Hockley Operations Manager Chris Christou Accounts Stalo Antoniades Headquarters 33 - 37 Michael Parides Street, Pallouriotissa, 1041 Nicosia, Cyprus Tel: +357-22-843800 Fax: +357-22-349966 Email: Website: Dubai Office Building 9, Office G08, Dubai Media City, P.O. Box 502147, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971-444-95488 Fax: +971-444-95489 Email: TTG Worldwide Titles* TTG Asia TTG China TTG Czech Republic TTG Hungary TTG Italia TTG Poland TTG Russia TTG UK & Ireland * For information on these publications, please contact us at:

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LEVANT Important player in Lebanon Identified by Lebanon’s Ministry of Tourism as one of the most frequented destinations for visitors to Beirut, ABC Malls’ contribution to Lebanon’s shopping tourism industry is undisputed. Established in 1936, ABC proclaims to be the first department store to open its doors in the Middle East. In 2003, the group implemented its first mall up to international standards in the Middle East. A total of six retail outlets are now scattered

across Lebanon, including those in Hamra, Bab Idriss, Zahle, and Tripoli. Two flagship department stores can be found in prime tourist locations, while the group also boasts the first open air mall to meet international standards in the region. Marketing coordinator, ABC Group, Cybèle Asmar commented: “ABC operates two major department stores in prime locations in Lebanon; ABC Dbayeh, located a few km north of Beirut, and ABC Achrafieh in the heart of the capital and the first European-like mall in the country with over 200 renowned stores, 20 restaurants and seven movie theatres. A tourist visitor information centre is also available exclusively in ABC Achrafieh.”

Accommodating Levant shoppers Rotana has identified two of its properties as those which stand out in the realm of shopping tourism in the Levante region. “We have many hotels in MEA considered important for the shoppers, but among the top would be Queen Centre Arjaan by Rotana in Damascus, and Gefinor Rotana in Beirut,” COO, Rotana, Omer Kaddouri singled out.

“Among our top hotels [for shoppers] would be Queen Centre Arjaan in Damascus, and Gefinor in Beirut”

IRRESISTIBLE BEIRUT Communications coordinator, Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut, Maya Bassal has explained to TTG why she believes Beirut is irresistible as a retail therapy destination. “Shopping tourists always look for unique, interesting and international merchandise 4


with impulse buys as well. As an advice for these travellers whose motto is ‘to live is to shop,’ Lebanon is the destination in the Middle East. “The Lebanese have an eye for style and design, and this flare is seen in the wide range of products available in Lebanon. In Beirut, one can find all famous cutting-edge designers in both clothing and furniture from all over the world,” said Bassal.

Both are situated in the heart of Damascus and Beirut respectively, close to major shopping streets. Queen Centre Arjaan by Rotana is in fact also attached to a shopping mall – Queen’s Shopping Centre – with some 85 deluxe brands. Commenting on how Rotana works with the travel trade to leverage on the shopping tourism sector, Kaddouri explained: “We do this through special rates to travel agents including complimentary shopping vouchers in order to assist them to promote our properties and to add to the shopping experience. “In addition to tailor-made one-week offers combining two or three days stay in the city and the rest at a beach hotel including discount vouchers and complimentary shuttle to major shopping attractions, we also host FAM trips for travel agents, press and media groups.”

A good eye for presentation Director of promotion and marketing, Lebanon Ministry of Tourism, Mona Fares estimates that shopping-oriented tourists account for some 40 per cent of Lebanon’s tourism industry, yet explains that there is so much more on offer than just shopping. “People of course don’t only come for shopping – there is fantastic food, lifestyle, weather, archaeology; it is the whole package they come for. But shopping is almost always a part of that package, especially for higher-spending tourists, even for those who are on budgets because we are not an expensive shopping destination. “What’s more is that Lebanon has its own identity – you have an attractive local industry with wonderful craftsmanship and creativity, yet you can also find the well-known high-end fashion brands. “And one thing the Lebanese are good at is that we have a good eye for presentation, and we combine this with an enjoyable atmosphere and service for the shopper.”

supermarket developed over 8,500m2, and the 3,500m2 Adventure World, one of the top indoor theme parks in Lebanon, as well as a mini-bowling alley, are particularly strong attractions for families. “Beirut Mall has become the number one family destination and one of the most visited malls in the country,” general manager, Beirut Mall, Zaher Chatila commented to TTG. In an effort to lure more tourists, the 55,000m2 mall communicates with tourists through special tourists guides distributed in the hotels, airport, airlines, touristic destinations and newspapers, as well as through advertising in targeted TV documentaries Open since 2006, Beirut Mall is every year. renowned by locals and visitors “We recommend the MENA alike for its modern architecture, travel trade to guide people to Beirut Mall, the most distinfully air-conditioned ambience, guished family destination, 30-plus retail stores, and 12 whereby they can enjoy enterrestaurants and cafes. tainment, F&B, and fulfill all their Furthermore, its two anchors shopping cravings.” – Farm Superstores, a leading

Beirut’s family destination

Innovation in Damascus Considered by many as the most innovative shopping mall in Syria, Damasquino Mall is upgrading its offerings in a bid to increase its guests’ choices and shopping experience. The mall, which merges a variety of pioneering shopping and leisure activities, is located in the heart of Tanzeem Kafarsouseh, in what is one of the trendiest areas of Damascus and close to the city centre. Revealing to TTG the mall’s latest developments, assistant marketing manager, Damasquino Mall, Anas Al Kharfan said: “We recently opened in-door karting at our mall – ERG Karting, thus marking the first in-door karting track in Syria. “We will also soon open Monoprix, one of the major French supermarkets, which will cover an area of over 6,000m2 in a prime location of the mall.” In addition, a new retail mix of prestigious international and national brands is soon set to arrive. As well as a diverse range of shops combining well-known international and local brands, the mall already includes 12 food outlets and six restaurants cafés, as well as a 4D cinema and family entertainment centres for all ages. Supporting the mall is also a series of escalators and panoramic elevators, connecting all eight levels, in addition to a crystal hanging bridge. Damasquino Mall encompasses an extensive area exceeding 24,000m2, and offers 500 parking spaces for its guests. SHOPPING TOURISM



KUWAIT Symphonic entrance SOLID reputation in Kuwait There are a number of reasons why shopping-oriented tourists enjoy staying at Al Manshar Rotana Hotel in Kuwait, not least due to its being linked to a Mall with numerous entertainment facilities. “The hotel is part of Al Manshar Towers & Complex, which is directly linked to the 40,000m2 Al Manshar Mall – the most prestigious shopping mall and retail services in the Fahaheel Community and which lies adjacent to Al Kout Mall and Waterfront, the largest of its kind in the south of Kuwait,” explained director of sales and marketing, Al Manshar Rotana Hotel Kuwait, Rabih Al Atras. “The special location of the hotel with malls’ connectivity, and its extraordinary high-end product and facilities, have made Al Manshar Rotana Hotel, within a short period, one of the most important landmarks of Kuwait with a very good reputation, and a great stay for shopping-oriented tourists.” As part of the guests’ shopping experience, detailed descriptions of both Al Manshar & Al Kout Malls are provided in the rooms, with tenants’ list and map with the entertainment facilities available. Deals have also been formed with some of the malls’ tenants, with hotel guests able to receive special discounts, packages, and promotions under the name of ‘Shop & Stay’. Moreover, a shuttle bus also takes guests from the hotel to 360 Degrees Mall on a daily basis.

“The special location of the hotel with malls’ connectivity, and its extraordinary facilities, have made us one of the most important landmarks of Kuwait.” 6


Of all the group’s hotels in popular shopping destinations, few have left global director of sales and marketing, The Rezidor Hotel Group, Yigit Sezgin more jubilant than with Kuwait’s latest offering. “Early 2011 in Kuwait, we are opening Hotel Missoni Kuwait, our first lifestyle brand Missoni to launch in Middle East,” Sezgin told TTG. “We are expecting a very high demand, particularly from the GCC, mainly Saudi Arabia and Kuwaitis themselves.” Due to open in Kuwait’s shopping and entertainment district of Salmiya, the 169-room and –suite hotel will form the centerpiece of Kuwait’s fashionable Symphony Centre, a mixed-use development which will house the 18-storey hotel, three-floor shopping mall, as well as an office tower. “The mall will have all the Louis Vitton’s, Armani’s and branded cafés you can possibly imagine – very high-end stuff indeed, and an absolutely perfect fit for Hotel Missoni Kuwait.”

NEED TO KNOW Kuwait Tourism Services (KTS), the country’s first inbound tour operator which works closely with the Ministry of Commerce Tourism Sector, Kuwait Airways, and Kuwait Hotels Owner Association, has singled out to TTG some of the country’s most popular destinations for shoppers: ñ 360 Degrees Mall ñ Avenues Mall in Al Rai ñ Sharq Mall in Al Sharq ñ Marina Mall Shopping Center and Retail Park ñ Laila Gallery Complex ñ Al Fanar Shopping Complex ñ Al Kout Mall in Fahaheel ñ Sultan Centre in Salmiyah ñ Titanic Mall in Hawalli ñ Mubarakiah Market in Kuwait City ñ Hawalli Shopping District ñ Salmiyah Shopping District KTS states it is also worth getting ‘culturally’ lost among the various markets that the country homes, and where visitors can explore Kuwaiti craft and fishing culture, namely at Fahaheel Fish Market, or The Gold Souk, where gold and jewellery is welcomingly weighed, bought and sold.

EGYPT seasoned shopping Regional vice president of sales and marketing – EMEA, Four Seasons, Jane Burnell has identified Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The

First Residence as one of the hotel group’s key revenue-generators for shopping tourism throughout the EMEA portfolio. “Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence has its own highend shopping mall attached [First Residence complex], which houses elegant boutiques and shops over three levels, as well as a casino,” said Burnell in an exclusive with TTG. “It’s a pleasantly boutiquefeeling shopping mall, and guests don’t actually have to leave the hotel to access it. It’s all a very ‘private feeling’ experience, where everything can be done through concierge,” she added.

Cairo’s latest landmark With 643 stores, two indoor theme parks, 21 cinema screens, numerous dining choices, and 20,000m2 of exhibition space, among other facilities, it’s easy to see why Citystars Cairo and its three adjoining InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) hotels have become something of a tourism sensation in the region. As the retail and leisure component of the $800 million Citystars Complex, Stars Centre is already regarded as Egypt’s largest retail offering, and indeed one of the biggest malls in the region. With InterContinental Citystars Cairo, Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars, and Staybridge Suites Cairo Citystars all located adjacent to the complex, the three properties make the complex highly attractive to luxury, midscale and lower budget tourists alike. Commenting on IHG’s five-star offering, area general manager, IHG Citystars Complex, Thierry Perrot said: “InterContinental Cairo Citystars is the perfect place to enjoy shopping. Hotel guests can benefit from direct access to Stars Centre, and also from the discount coupons in selected shops, which are available in their rooms. The hotel also offers a variety of attractive promotions and packages that include fantastic shopping discounts, meals and spa treatments.” SHOPPING TOURISM



QATAR City Centre shopping Quarter one of 2011 is set to welcome the opening of City Centre Rotana in Doha, a property which COO, Rotana, Omer Kaddouri has identified as a particularly attractive destination for shopping-oriented tourists in Doha. “The hotel is part of the City Centre Doha shopping complex and is located in the West Bay area, near the business district, the Diplomatic area, the exhibition centre and minutes away from Doha Golf Club and the airport. “The property will offer 300 luxurious rooms and suites and 100 serviced apartments along with four F&B outlets, meeting rooms, business services and a fitness centre.”

Three new destinations in Doha Marriott International has revealed that next year it will be gracing Doha with three new hotels, all connected to Doha City Centre Shopping Mall, which features over 300 stores. “Early next year in quarter one 2011, we will be opening three hotels in Doha – Renaissance Doha City Centre, Courtyard by Marriott Doha City Centre Hotel, and Marriott Executive Apartments Doha City Centre,” confirmed vice president global sales – MEA, Marriott International, Vladimir Dabbah. “All three will be connected to the mall, which perfectly complements the world-class comfort and luxury

on offer at our properties, including a wide variety of F&B options and the Saray Spa experience.” Questioned on how Marriott International caters specifically for shopping-oriented guests, Dabbah explained: “At Marriott, we aim to create shopping packages for our guests, available to book through all channels – through our website, our GDS systems, and our Toll Free Reservation Customer Care Centre. “We also have a Marriott Hotel Excellence training programme for travel agents to address the needs of the agents at every level. Our modules are aimed at inculcating a better understanding of our industry among the agents, and helping them tailor their sales strategies in line with our brand family and products, thus maximising the success of our properties.”

Number two for Qatar Vice president commercial – MEA, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Tom Rowntree has confirmed to TTG that IHG is complementing its existing property in Qatar with the planned opening of InterContinental Doha West Bay, scheduled for a 2011 opening. As with the group’s first urban resort and business hotel in Qatar – InterContinental Doha, the new 60-storey InterContinental Doha West Bay will be located close to the City Centre, considered Doha’s most widely known and respected mall. “Further developments include the Barwa Commercial Avenue, Doha’s newest development which will house over 600 shops,” noted Rowntree, referring to a mixed-use development in the south of Doha which, amongst other facilities, will include shopping malls housing a range of top retail names and brands, as well as fine dining restaurants. 8


“All gold jewellery sold in Qatar is stamped with a government guarantee of purity. Engraving in either Roman letters or Arabic script can be done onthe-spot in 15 minutes.”

RETAIL THERAPY destination

jewellery sold with or without diamonds, pearls or precious and semi-precious stones set into them. All gold jewellery sold in Qatar is stamped with a government guarantee of purity. Much of the gold has been beautifully handcrafted by Chairman, Qatar Tourism second and third-generation skilled craftsmen, Authority (QTA), Ahmed Al many of whom will make up a unique piece of Nuaimi explains what is jewellery, as well as do resizes or repairs. driving Qatar’s eminence as In addition, shopping festivals are held in Doha, a shopping tour-de-force. attracting tourists to the capital. The Doha Trade fair is a hugely popular event in Doha and it is Which would you say are Qatar’s growing at an enormous pace each year, with most popular shopping venues? many products and services are showcased under one roof. The main products exhibited include The most popular malls in Doha are designer clothing, books, leather products, anVillagio, City Centre, Hyatt Plaza, tiques, electronics, furniture, carpets, giftware and Landmark Mall, Royal Plaza, Salam Plaza, glassware, handicrafts, footwear, jewellery, toys, CentrePoint, The Centre and The Mall. health products and more. These are spacious, clean, well-decorated and home to stores for international What advice might you give to the trade? brands, supermarkets, home stores, shoe stores, jewellery stores, pharmaWhen creating packages, it is important to plan cies, restaurants, fast food outlets, them around the large shopping events that take entertainment areas and much more. place in Qatar. The Doha Trade Fair is Qatar’s Upscale shopping along the piazza in largest shopping spectacular and takes place in the newly opened Pearl-Qatar development, provides a variety of luxury brands in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. Souq Waqif also offers an unforgettable experience. This was once a weekend trading area for the Bedouin. Meaning ‘standing market’ in Arabic, the Souq offers the true feeling of ancient Arabic heritage. There are shops and stalls within this historical maze where visitors can bargain and purchase an amazingly diverse range of products. There are also a number of restaurants offering Arab and other international cuisines. The Gold Souq offers the chance to buy some beautiful jewellery. Here you will find an abundance of imported and locally crafted gold and silver

both January and June. The event is held at Doha Exhibition Centre with over 200,000 visitors attending over the 10-day shopping extravaganza. Some of the products sold include carpets, clothes, cosmetics, textiles, brassware and handicrafts from many Asian and EMEA countries. This is Qatar’s largest consumer fair and is a fantastic fun-filled day for many tourists. The annual Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition is another hugely popular event for tourists, taking place every February. The six-day international exhibition showcases a wide range of luxurious and unique collections from the world’s most famous names. This event usually attracts over 50,000 visitors from all around the region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE. This event is one of the region’s leading events of its kind as it gives the opportunity to see the latest collections from world’s leading luxury brands and in addition, the jewellery and watches are for sale. What future developments can we expect that may be of interest to shopping tourists? Doha’s Cultural Village – opening by the end of 2010 – boasts a new shopping centre, as well as a Roman amphitheatre, an opera house, museums, galleries, restaurants, a two km boardwalk and more. It will also play host to many cultural events. Elsewhere, Lusail City will feature a new waterfront area with boardwalk, shops marina and restaurants and is scheduled to open late 2010 or early 2011. Entertainment City in Lusail will feature a theme park and is also scheduled to open in the near future. In Doha, the 100,000m2 Aqua Park will open in the summer of 2010 with wave pools, restaurants, and an adjacent shopping complex.




HONG KONG General manager, Middle East representative, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Trevor Owen reveals the secrets of Hong Kong shopping to TTG, and expresses his pride at the city’s shopping paradise status What makes Hong Kong so attractive for shopping? Hong Kong takes the traditional and modern-day shopping experience very seriously and is proud of its reputation as being a ‘shopping paradise’. To this extent it has its own Quality Tourism Service (QTS) scheme providing strict guidelines to shops and merchants who must pass a stringent annual quality assessment to have the QTS accreditation.

Luxury stay in Hong Kong The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, located in the premier fashion centre of the city, offers a variety of privileges to satisfy the avid shopper. Hailed by many as one of the best luxury city hotels in the world, the five-star hotel features 113 state-of-the-art designed guestrooms which are also amongst the largest hotel rooms in Honk Kong. “This chic 113-room hotel is housed in the same complex as some of the Hong Kong’s most exclusive shops, including the first Harvey Nichols store outside of the UK,” PR manager, Mandarin Oriental Group, EMEA, Live Haugen told TTG. “The Landmark Mandarin Oriental can also arrange personal shopping experiences in the privacy of guests’ own rooms, and also enjoys an award-winning holistic spa where guests can relax and be pampered post-shopping.” 10


Which are the city’s best shopping destinations? The favourite shopping experiences are the street markets that


best illustrate Hong Kong’s living culture. These areas include the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street, the place for bags, accessories and inexpensive women’s, men’s’ and children’s’ clothing. The Temple Street Market is an ordered chaos and the perfect place to pick up bargains. This street is awash with rows of brightly lit stalls selling an astonishing variety of clothing, watches, electronic gadgets, and hardware. The Stanley Market is the perfect place to buy something special for friends and relatives. The historic lanes in this old fishing village are jam-packed with vendors, selling Chinese artwork, silk collectable and curios. What would be your advice? Hong Kong has fast become a leader in the electronic shopping arena with many tourists just going to Hong Kong to survey the variety of electronic and similar goods available. The major hotels, such as the InterContinental Hong Kong, Shangri-La Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hong Kong, and the Mandarin Orientals are set in the heart of, and are easily accessible to, all the shopping and entertainment districts, especially with the superb public transport services. Many people are also taking advantage of the many festivals, such as the Summer Spectacular [June – August] with its special shopping discount packages, Hong Kong WinterFest [December], Halloween [October], and we must not forget that Hong Kong has its very own Disney theme park, offering great entertainment and souvenirs for visitors staying in Hong Kong.

JAPAN CLARK’S ‘Where to shop in Japan’: Ginza “Recognised as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world. For luxury travellers wishing to stay in this upscale area, we recommend The Peninsula Tokyo and Conrad Tokyo.” Omotesando “Often referred to as ‘Tokyo’s Champs Elysees’. It is known as one of the best architectural streets in the world, featuring several fashion flagship stores, including Louis Vitton, Prada and Dior. For luxury travellers wishing to stay in this area we recommend Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel.” Roppongi “For the rich Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown shopping complexes. For any travellers wanting to shop in malls, Roppongi is the best place to be based. Both Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown have a huge range of quality designer goods and great restaurants and museums. In this area, the hotels we recommend are The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo and Grand Hyatt Tokyo.”


Tax-Free Shopping “Overseas visitors in Japan with temporary status who spend more than 10,001 yen [$120] on any given day in one shop are entitled to a refund of the five per cent consumption tax. Only department stores and specialty shops used to dealing with foreign tourists offer the refund, and clients must show their passports. No refund is granted for cosmetics, food, alcohol, cigarettes, medicine, film and batteries, which include the consumption tax in their price tag.” Senior PR and marketing manager, JNTO, Kylie Clark

What can shoppers find in Japan? Senior PR and marketing manager, Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), Kylie Clark:

“Shopping in Japan is a cornucopia of unexpected treasures, from traditional crafts to high-tech wizardry. The country’s reputation for quality craftsmanship and prestigious designer brands makes it a very attractive destination for shoppers. Highly sought-after Japanese brands include Issey Miyake, Commes des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Sony, Nintendo, Nikon, Yamaha, Toshiba, Olympus and Pioneer. For jewellery we also have Seiko and Citizen watches, as well as Mikimoto, generally classed as one of the top 10 jewellers in the world. While many luxury jewellery houses specialise in diamonds, Mikimoto has always focused on pearl jewellery.”

Quintessential hotel in Tokyo Surrounded by some of the city’s most popular shopping areas, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo has announced a collaboration with Takashimaya Company to offer a new exclusive service for its guests. All guests staying on the Horizon Club floor, as well as leisure travel guests from overseas, will be able to enjoy special benefits while shopping at Takashimaya Tokyo, the flagship store of Japan’s leading department store operator, and located just a five-minute walk away. Benefits include a personal interpreter/ shopping assistant and complimentary beverage at the tea salon in the store. Moreover, items purchased will be directly delivered complimentary to the guestroom so that customers do not need to carry heavy shopping bags. “We are always looking at ways to enhance the guest experience by providing a

more personalised level of service to meet our guests’ needs,” said general manager, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, Wolfgang Krueger. “We believe we can enhance our guests’ luxury stay in partnership with Takashimaya.”

Flights to Japan (direct) to and from MENA (as at September 2010)

ñ Tokyo’s Narita Airport – Abu Dhabi Airport 5/wk (Etihad Airways) ñ Tokyo’s Narita Airport – Cairo Airport 6/wk (Egypt Air) ñ Tokyo’s Narita Airport – Doha Airport 7/wk via Kansai Airport (Qatar Airways) ñ Tokyo’s Narita Airport – Dubai Airport 5/wk (Emirates Airline) ñ Tokyo’s Narita Airport – Imam Khomeini 1/wk via Beijing Airport (Iran Air) ñ Kansai Airport (for Osaka) – Cairo 4/wk or 2/wk flights via Luxor (Egypt Air) ñ Kansai Airport (for Osaka) – Doha 7/wk (Qatar Airways) ñ Kansai Airport (for Osaka) – Dubai 7/wk (Emirates Airline) ñ Kansai Airport (for Osaka) – Luxor 2/wk (Egypt Air) ñ Nagoya Airport (central Japan) – Abu Dhabi 5/wk via Beijing Airport (Etihad Airways) SHOPPING TOURISM




Why Korea? Statistics taken for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 have shown that shopping is the prime motive for most foreign visitors visiting Korea. Average individual tourists spent around 39.4 per cent of their total expense on shopping, while a tourist on full package programme spent around 47.5 per cent of his/her total expense on shopping. According to a survey conducted on tourist activities during their stay, it was observed that shopping took the first spot at 62.5 per cent in 2009, followed by visiting tourist attractions in the second spot. Korea offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities such as arcades, department stores and duty-free shops. However, the local markets are more common among foreign tourists to experience the vivid lifestyle of Koreans.

WhEN Korea? TTG receives the full ‘Four Ws’ on Korea’s retail offering, courtesy of new regional director, Korea National Tourism Organisation (KNTO), Seunghyun HwanG.

The key selling points for a Middle East tourist to enjoy shopping is that our shopping centres are open all through the year, including Sundays and public holidays. A few markets in Seoul, like the Dongdaemun and Namdaemun are open 24 hrs a day with prices going down by 20 per cent from 22:00 until 04:00. Major department stores are open from 10:30 until 20:00 and convenience stores are open 24 hours all throughout the city.

Where Korea?

What else Korea?

COEX Mall – an entertainment facility located in the heart of Seoul with 250 commercial stores, 800 restaurants, aquarium with 40,000 aquatic creatures, 17 cinema screens, Game Park, shops and boutiques. The largest underground shopping mall in Asia is located in this complex.

Several cultural and shopping events are lined up for the whole year. Shopping festivals like Seoul Grand Sale are offering attractive discounts to lure more foreign tourists to visit Korea. To encourage more tourists to shop in Korea, we will introduce the ‘Discount coupon book and online vouchers’ with more than 500 participating outlets that includes shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. This offer is valid for tourists from Asia, Middle East and Australia until June 2011. Korea has been running a nonstop project on developing shopping malls and districts like the Shinsegae Centum City in Bussan which was recorded in the Guinness Book as the ‘World’s Largest Department Store’.

Itaewon Street – located in the centre of Seoul, this is the spiritual home of Korea’s Muslim population and home to the largest mosque in Korea, constructed by Saudi Arabia. It is one of the most popular shopping areas with over 2,000 shops, and has a lot of restaurants serving halal dishes for the Muslim community. Apgujeong Street is nicknamed ‘Seoul’s Beverly Hills’. Top end brands line the streets and alleyways.

“A few markets in Seoul are open 24 hrs a day with prices going down by 20 per cent from 22:00 until 04:00.”

Myeong-dong resembles a massive shopping city, spread about one km in Seoul. All major shopping chains and shopping malls are located here. Dongdaemun Market is a huge shopping area with over 30 shopping malls. Guests can also enjoy live performances, fashion shows and other stage shows. The shops are open from 10:00 till 05:00 the following day, so it is also famous for night shopping. Centum City a new urban development in Busan [Korea’s second largest city], has become Korea’s most sought-out shopping destination and a symbol of all things luxury. Posh shopping options are complemented by nearby tourist attractions, such as Haeundae Beach (the largest beach in Korea), and the Busan Aquarium. 12


“When COEX Mall in Seoul was first built, the trend for mall visitors in Korea was a visitor that looked for a pure shopping experience and the amenities that came with it, including dining and resting areas. However, now visitors

are looking for a more comprehensive experience that combines shopping and dining with cultural sights and performances. This is due not only to the changing tastes of the local Korean population, but also the preferences of the increasing volume of international tourists that come to COEX. “Though COEX already has many cultural properties, including two popular stage performance halls, a museum, and an aquarium, during its renewal, COEX will focus much more strongly on cultural attractions as well as exciting, modern international brands.” Promotion manager, Coex Mall, Jung-hee Geum

SINGAPORE In 2009, visitors to Singapore spent 25 per cent of their total expenditure, or $2.3 billion, on shopping. Area director – MEA, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Jason Ong explains this phenomenon by summarising why “the Garden City” is one of Asia’s shopping capitals.

MOST POPULAR SHOPPING VENUES: Orchard Road: Close to 70 per cent of visitors to Singapore make a visit to Orchard Road, making it the most visited free-access attraction in Singapore. No other street encapsulates the essence of shopping and fashion better, with the street having recently seen a $30 million infrastructural enhancement. ION ORCHARD SHOPPING MALL

> Key malls on Orchard Road: The newest retail experience on Orchard Road is the eight-floor ION Orchard. The ground level houses luxury brands such as Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna and Louis Vuitton, while the basement offers a variety of high street brands such as Fred Perry and Armani Exchange. Other new additions to the Orchard shopping strip are Orchard Central and 313@Somerset, the latter which is home to the biggest Forever 21 flagship store in Singapore. Meanwhile, there is also Paragon Shopping Centre, which last year purportedly welcomed about 20 million shoppers and is expecting even more visitors after the soon-to-be-completed interior refurbishments.


Awa y from Orchard Roa d: Besides Orchard Road, there are also other notable spots that provide for satisfying retail therapy. Over at the Southern Waterfront precinct is Vivocity, which added over a million ft2 of diverse retail and lifestyle options when it opened in October 2006. Retail choices also extend beyond central districts where suburban malls have made a splash. First-in-market Cache Cache, for example, has opened flagship Singapore outlets at Tampines 1. Dubbed as ‘An Oasis in the West’, the revamped West Coast Plaza opened at the end of 2008. > Kampong Glam: The main pedestrian thoroughfare is Bussorah Street which during colonial catered to the Muslim community’s religious needs. Nowadays, there’s an eccentric mix of old and new shops selling Singaporean wares, accessories, and books relating to Muslim culture and religion. Arab Street, known as a textile haven in the 1950s and 1960s, can also be found here; bales of silk, batik, lace, organza and other materials adorn the street.

NEED TO KNOW Many of Singapore’s malls and luxury brands go that extra mile for shoppers, offering concierge services, shuttle buses and cut-price deals. STB has also developed a Tourist Privilege Card which entitles all foreign visitors to discounts on purchases and special privileges at all participating malls. All travellers need to do to obtain a card is to present their passport at the customer service counter of one of the participating malls. The most popular shopping items for travellers are fashion, accessories, consumer electronics and wellness products.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS: Integrated Resorts Marina Bay Sands offers a luxurious mall called Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, which, when fully opened in late-2010, will boast 300 stores comprising international luxury brands and labels new to Singapore, including Bally, Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton, which plans to open a ‘floating island’ store in a striking glass and steel Crystal Pavilion that will sit on Marina Bay. Resorts World Sentosa features not only the finest in the latest fashion trends, but also specialty shops unseen anywhere else. Step into the first Victoria's Secret outside of the US, or indulge in all things chocolate at the Hershey's Store. Knightsbridge, an 83,000ft2 luxury shopping destination, is scheduled to open late 2010. Housing between eight to 10 luxury brands, Knightsbridge will be integrated within a $60 million makeover of the former Park Hotel Orchard. Several international labels have also opened new flagship stores in Singapore, including coach and luxury timepiece brands Franck Muller and Richard Mille, designer shoe icons Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, haute jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels, fashion labels Stella McCartney, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Banana Republic.

WHEN TO GO: Each year Singapore holds the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) which gets bigger and more alluring each year, offering everything in retail on sale – from bargains in IT, apparel and luxury goods, to attractions, spa and beauty treatments, and even tours. GSS is timed each year to coincide with the school holidays and other cultural events to ensure shoppers are kept buzzing 24/7. Such events include the Singapore Food Festival and the Singapore Garden Festival which offer shoppers the chance to try out the local cuisines and explore the horticultural magnificence of the Garden City. SHOPPING TOURISM



Thailand Pulling shoppers in Bangkok Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel considers itself as the perfect destination for shopping enthusiasts in Bangkok. Director of sales and marketing, Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel, Khata Sinhaseni explained that being located next to the BTS Skytrain station is a big plus for shopping guests staying at the hotel, and the hotel’s location is also just a few stops away from Siam Square and on the same route to ChatuChak Weekend Market. Added USPs for Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel are that King Power Shopping Mall offers 10 to 15 per cent discount for its guests, with a guaranteed efficient service at the ‘pick up counter’ at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The hotel is currently promoting a ‘Cash Back’ package, which offers a special room rate plus a host of additional benefits including cash credit to be spent in the hotel.

SOUNDBITE: Vice president sales and marketing, Dusit International, Jennifer Cronin:




Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand – Dubai and Middle East, Pramoth Supyen explains why shopping is a major attraction for MENA visitors to Thailand. How does Thailand successfully attract so many shoppers? Shopping in Thailand is always an excellent opportunity to catch up on amazing products to take back home for friends and family. One of the unique aspects is the presence of very local shopping places like the night markets in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and other cities. Not only these, but the weekend markets are proving extremely popular and should not be missed. Tourists find these places excellent for picking up wonderful local products at bargain prices. Visitors find an amazing range of high quality goods especially clothing, jewellery, leatherwear, bags and shoes. Gift items which are becoming very popular are the locally-made products, including the Royal Artisan projects, handicrafts, Thai silk products, and designer items. “Our hotels and resorts in Thailand are all situated in ideal shopping locations. Dusit Thani Bangkok, for example, is located with direct access to both the sky train (BTS) and subway station (MRT). Perfectly located opposite the historic Lumpini Park with its wide boulevards and lakes, the hotel is close to major shopping centres such as Siam Paragon, Siam Square and Central World. “dusitD2 Chiang Mai and dusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya are also located in some of Thailand’s most popular shopping areas.”

Country of Origin

UAE UAE UAE Iran Iran Iran Oman Oman Qatar Qatar Bahrain Kuwait Jordan

There is no mistaking the abundance of alluring bargains on a diverse range of products. In 2007, international visitors to Thailand spent an average of $119.38 per person per day. Of this, $31.05 or 26 per cent was on shopping. In Bangkok, unique new attractions include the Siam Paragon and the World Trade Centre, both world class shopping and entertainment complexes which are linked by a direct walkway to the mass transit system, the skytrain. A must visit new shopping attraction is also the newlyopened world class international shopping and leisure destination, Jungceylon in Phuket. A shopping, dining and entertainment centre for the whole family, Jungceylon holds over 300 shops covering a retail space of over 75,000m2. It is also the latest international shopping and leisure destination to open in Phuket, with Central Festival also having opened in Pattaya. What advice might you give to the travel trade? Thailand offers shoppers amazing value throughout the year, however for the serious shopper the best time to visit Thailand for the biggest savings is without a doubt during the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale, which is held yearly over the summer and it is the time when visitors can enjoy price reductions of up to 80 per cent on all sorts of items. Many shopping centres also offer free shuttle services, and some malls even offer gift vouchers for those who spend over a certain limit. As shopping is a major attraction for visitors to Thailand, the Thai domestic travel trade and hotels are extremely experienced in being able to offer various ‘shopping tours’ to fit any client’s or group’s taste. As such agents here in the Middle East should never have to worry about promoting Thailand as a shopping destination. Should the client also require detailed information about shopping opportunities prior to their departure, we also recommend that either the agent or the client themselves contact our Dubai office for our various shopping brochures, or visit our websites which have a plethora of information readily available. Airline

Etihad Airways Emirates Airline Thai Airways Mahan Air (IKA) Mahan Air (MHD) Iran Air Oman Air Thai Airways Qatar Airways Qatar Airways Gulf Air Kuwait Airways Royal Jordanian


Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok Phuket Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok



14/week 28/week 7/week 6/week 2/week 3/week 6/week 3/week 14/week 6/week 9/week 6//week 7/week


NYC For decades, visitors from the Middle East have been awed by New York City’s iconic luxury flagship stores and legendary cultural attractions. Last year alone, the city welcomed approximately 184,000 visitors from the Middle East, and with 55 per cent of all these travellers visiting New York City, the city is by far the US’ number one destination from the region. According to CEO, NYC & Company, George Fertitta, shopping in particular is the number one activity for Middle Eastern visitors with over 93 per cent spending time shopping while they are in the city. He added that Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue and SoHo are the key shopping areas of the City, as is Bleecker Street – the ‘Madison Avenue of Downtown’ – particularly the blocks between Bank Street and Christopher Street in the W Village. Department stores are also popular, from Bloomingdales and Macy’s to Barneys, Saks Fifth


Getting to New York Emirates Airline – Twice daily Eithad Airways – Daily Qatar Airways – Daily Saudi Arabian Airlines – Daily Egypt Air – Daily Royal Air Maroc – Five weekly Royal Jordanian – Five weekly

Avenue, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman. And the ‘Big Apple’ keeps on adding new shopping opportunities. “Apple last year opened a new store on the Upper West Side at Broadway and 67th Street, the fourth the company has opened in Manhattan, and JC Penney, the department store, opened its first ever Manhattan store last year as well,” said Fertitta. “The 153,000ft2 two-level store is located in the Manhattan Mall at 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue.”

Staying in Manhattan

and Madison Avenue are just a short stroll through Central Park, so guests don’t even need to leave Mandarin Oriental, New York with Located more than 250ft world class shopping in the Time above ground level in Manhattan, Warner Centre.” Mandarin Oriental, New York City’s She added that the hotel also location grants its guests panoramic works with leading New York views of Central Park and Hudson stylists for exclusive personal River, as well as a highly attractive shopping experiences, and that, central location. courtesy of the hotel’s award winPR manager – EMEA, Mandarin ning holistic spa, guests can enjoy Oriental Group, Live Haugen post-shopping pampering and explained: “The world famous Fifth relaxation.

SYDNEY Tailored shopping in Sydney

What better way to begin a shopping experience in Sydney than to relax in the luxury of a limousine, expertly guided around the city’s top shopping destinations by one’s own personal driver and consultant? This is just one of the many services offered by Park Hyatt Sydney, which declares itself the leading luxury accommodation in Australia and gateway to

a veritable haven for all kinds of enthusiastic shoppers. Guest services manager, Park Hyatt Sydney, Cameron Griffiths confirmed: “Shopping in Sydney is one of our guest’s favourite leisure activities. With the assistance of our knowledgeable concierge team, our guests have a personalised shopping experience and suggestions tailored to suit their individual preferences. “Our personalised shoppers work permanently within the fashion industry and know all the season’s trends and best places for a sale.

They can offer our guests focused attention and help them to decide what looks good on them, or pick out an outfit for a particular occasion.” The city centre’s stylish boutiques,

arcades and department stores are concentrated in and around the Pitt Street Mall, Castlereagh Street and King Street, Sydney’s oldest village, all in close proximity to Park Hyatt Sydney. SHOPPING TOURISM



AN INDUSTRY PHENOMENON If you were asked to identify a destination synonymous with shopping, which would you choose? The list of options is endless, but typically, London, New York, Paris, Milan, Dubai, and Hong Kong spring to mind. So what is it that makes these destinations so irresistibly popular for shoppers, and what have we learnt about shopping tourists and their behaviours?


raditionally considered a secondary, consequential activity to travel, shopping is increasingly being looked upon as an emerging niche form of tourism, indeed having developed into one of the single biggest income earning segments in the industry. In reality, while the vast majority of travellers would not travel solely for the purpose of shopping, it is undoubtedly recognised as one of the most popular pursuits, often creeping subtly onto the to-do lists of business and leisure travellers alike. More importantly however, and as vice president – sales and marketing, Dusit International, Jennifer Cronin pointed out, the shopping component of a trip is strongly influencing the way many travellers are planning their holidays. “Travellers in general enjoy much more stress-free time to shop, meaning that they look for accommodation beforehand that is convenient and close to the shopping areas. They also tend to plan their purchase ahead and budget for souvenirs, especially families with children,” she told TTG. Capitalising on this market and finding ways to attract and retain interest from tourists seeking a ‘shopping destination’ is a role that all players in the tourism industry are keen to take on. Good knowledge of the destination can certainly help with marketing and planning, however it is important to first understand why tourists engage in shopping to begin with. A recently published study by Shop America Alliance, a US-based travel trade organisation representing over 200 shopping tourism destinations and venues in North America, identified a number of factors that motivate international tourists to shop. The study found the most important to be the exclusivity and ‘flauntiness’ factor of buying local and luxury products – those that can’t be found back home; value and price – especially when

exchange rates are in favour; a stress-free, ‘holiday-mode’ time conducive to recreational shopping; and of course a sense of obligation – finding gifts or souvenirs for friends and family.

periences. Shopping tourists want experiences, not only products, and are willing to pay a premium for the desired experience.” A similar sentiment is shared by global director of sales and marketing, The Value Rezidor Hotel “Today, our customer Group, Yigit is key is global. She is brand Sezgin, who aware, fashion-conscious Few can referred and aspirational. She deny that, to the demands quality, style in general, hospitaland value, and won’t a change ity product compromise on any in spending itself: “In aspect of her shopping habits has the general been witnessed consensus, yes experience.” since the offset we have seen that of the downturn. While shopping tourists are shopping tourism has evolved price-sensitive, but if you give them dramatically over the years, the the right product they really don’t industry is seeing much more care about the price. Although prudence in the trends, particularly they may try to negotiate with you, in the current economic scene. Vice they are still ready to pay the high president global sales – MEA, Marprices.” riott International, Vladimir Dabbah For a shopping destination to fully observed: “For this reason, tourists grow into a tourism resource, the and guests are increasingly looking general consensus is that value, for value-for-money, the latest in quality and experience are key fashion and technology, and an un- areas to focus on. Few people in matched shopping experience. The shopping tourism know this better tourism industry should therefore than CEO, Value Retail Managework closely to continually inject ment, Desirée Bollier, whose comvibrancy and rejuvenate the sector pany specialises in the development by strengthening the competitive of luxury outlet villages in Europe, advantages in product diversity, a retail concept that emerged in price competitiveness, quality the US in the 1970s as a way for assurance, as well as creating new brands to sell off surplus merretail concepts.” chandise or last seasons’ Cronin mirrored collections. these views, The company placing now boasts particular nine Chic emphasis Outlet on quality Shopping and good Villages value-forlocated in money as culturallykey areas. rich, in-vogue “Shopping destinations tourists ultimately across Europe, look for destinations including Barcelona, that offer better quality and variety Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid than they would get at home. They and Paris, and are deemed smart are also attracted to an appealing solutions for a day-shopping trip or environment – a destination with a weekend break. good retail mix and great dining ex- “Today, our customer is global,”

declared Bollier. “She is brandaware, fashion-conscious and aspirational. She is drawn to brand and value proposition. And the two most important traits that define her are that she’s a global traveller and an international tourist. She demands quality, style and value, and won’t compromise on any aspect of her shopping experience.”

A love affair Nowhere is this shopping profile more apparent than in the MENA region, which is renowned for its big-spending, brand-conscious travellers, and their ‘love affair’ with top designer labels and luxury brands, particularly in the areas of beauty, fashion and jewellery. Many industry experts would indeed agree that shopping is the single most important holiday activity for travellers from this region, with an increasing number, particularly from the GCC countries, considering the shopping component of their holiday as the decisive factor when planning their trip. CEO – development, McArthurGlen, Gary Bond, whose company boasts 19 designer outlet villages across the UK and Continental Europe, explained that visitors from the Middle East are among the most important for its centres, as they tend to account for a high average spend. “We have seen a big increase in the number of Chinese shoppers at our centres, however when it comes to average spend, the visitor from the Middle East is still the biggest spender. These customers on average spend more than other customer groups; we’re talking about an average purchase of several hundred Euro per person. “Shoppers at our centres also include some of the top families from the Middle East; they may even travel with their own private jet and an entourage of hundreds, but this does not stop them from loving those great designer brands at discounts.” SHOPPING TOURISM





travel and tourism, it seems that consumers are steadily spending more and heading further afield in their pursuit of bagging the latest and trendiest products. And according to the broad spectrum of industry experts who spoke to TTG, a clear understanding of tourist

shopping behaviour, matched by meticulous consideration of value, aesthetics, accommodation and quality, is vital if the travel trade is to maximise the overall shopping tourism experience of their clients, and fully capitalise on this growing sector.

Notable Shopping Events:

DEC 25-27


2010: Global Village Dubai, UAE World Retail Congress, Germany




FEB 10-17



JAN 20 TO FEB 20

JAN 16-18

2011: ONE Travel Conference, California, US Dubai Shopping Festival, UAE Milan Fashion Week, Italy Paris Fashion Week, France New York Fashion Week, US Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, Qatar London Fashion Week, UK Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Hong Kong


Singapore Grand Sale Dubai Summer Surprises, UAE

JULY Summer in Abu Dhabi, UAE

JULY 28-31


Doha Summer Trade Fair, Qatar


Amazing Thailand Grand Sale, Thailand

SEP 4-7

the kids’ experience, the more likely shoppers will head there. The arrival of big malls with good F&B and facilities has noticeably resulted in higher demand of surrounding hotels.” Sezgin agreed that a hotel’s location near a mall is one of the biggest advantages for a hotel. He stressed however that location is not enough – a clear understanding of shopping tourism trends is imperative to maximise on the opportunity. “For example, most guests naturally want to spend time in the mall rather than at the hotel, so if the mall has good F&B this is a major challenge for the hotel and it will lose a lot of F&B revHotels cash in enue. Things must be done cleverly – the small details must be thought With shopping villages, malls and of. For example, most shopping centres more than often providmalls don’t have an alcohol license, ing everything for the shoppingso the hotel should be designed so oriented visitor under one roof, it that people can stroll into the hotel is becoming increasingly clear to easily where they can consume see a proliferation of strategicallyalcohol,” explained Sezgin. located hotel openings adjacent to, He added that, with limited space, or in close proximity. it is more clever for a hotel Vice president sales not to develop too and marketing – many restauMiddle East, rants, but in“We have seen a big Mövenpick stead focus increase in the number Hotels & on MICE of Chinese shoppers, Resorts, during the however when it comes Toufic week, and to average spend, the Tamim exon the visitor from the Middle plained this weekend East is still the biggest phenomenon turn to the spender.” using The leisure segDubai Mall as a ment. “If you can point in case: “Since position yourself as the opening of the mall, there a business hotel during times has been an incredible shift of that business is slower, you can tourism to the area. A lot of hotels shift your segmentation very easily, have cropped up nearby due to the and welcome leisure guests as your entertainment that such a big mall demand generator.” can provide. The bigger the leisure With the economic woes of recent experience and, very importantly, times loosening their bite on global


Middle East visitors to McArthurGlen’s outlet villages, as with the ones of Value Retail Management, are drawn in their thousands by such discounts. Prices are reduced by up to 70 per cent all year round, in addition to the tax free savings available to non-EU residents. Bollier explained: “The importance of tourism to our business is shown through the Global Blue tax refunded sales across our Chic Outlet Shopping Villages. According to the tax refunded sales recorded in 2009, the Middle East was the second largest contributing market, with a 55 per cent increase versus 2008.” 2011 International Jewellery London, UK GITEX, Dubai, UAE


Symbiotic relationship Senior staff vice president, director of professional development services, International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC), Rudolph Milian talks to TTG about the close relationship between retail, dining and tourism, and explains how ICSC works with and for the travel trade Please tell us a bit about ICSC and its contribution to the development of shopping tourism globally. ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping centre industry. With 55,000 members worldwide, ICSC hosts meetings, conferences, trade expositions and education programmes around the world and has been doing so for 53 years. Furthermore, ICSC has had a presence in the Middle East for more than two decades and has worked closely with our affiliate, the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres, co-hosting many events, including week-long schools where tourism marketing is among the topics, and tourism seminars for shopping centre professionals seeking to expand their trade with tourists and conventioneers. What can you tell us about the relationship between shopping centres and tourism? Retail, dining, tourism and business travel are intertwined in more ways than most people realise. When people travel for business or pleasure, they shop in stores and dine in restaurants generally more than when they are close to home. It is no coincidence that when you have a vibrant travel business in a world-class city, you also have a thriving shopping centre industry there. Nowhere is this more evident than in Dubai where, throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the best hotels,

“The best way for the travel trade to work with ICSC to develop their business is to participate in RECon MENA during the trade expo, planned for May 11 to 12, 2011.” shopping malls and airports were being built to cater to travellers. The phenomenon of the retail and tourism growth in Dubai over the past decade is being replicated in new unique ways in this decade throughout the Gulf. New hotels and shopping malls are being built and renovations being carried out in the 2010s in other major locations around the Gulf, including Cairo, Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Amman, Beirut, Sana’a, and as far west as Cyprus and Istanbul. How can the travel trade work with ICSC to further develop their business? The best way for the travel trade to work with ICSC and ICSC

member companies to develop their tour and travel business is to participate in RECon MENA during the trade expo, planned for May 11 to 12, 2011. This is a good time to plan travel/shopping packages that will encourage visitors throughout the Gulf to travel and enjoy the abundant retail growth in the region. Many travel industry representatives are members of ICSC. They use the membership list to contact shopping centre marketers year-round to work out joint promotional efforts. Can you give examples of such promotions when working with other parties? Tourism marketing is not a new strategy in the shopping centre industry. Many years ago when I worked in a shopping centre, I was able to organise a discount coupon booklet in conjunction with an airline carrier. My stores gave discounts and the airline distributed thousands of booklets to travellers who came into the

international airports in South Florida where I worked at the time. Later, I worked up shopping promotions with car rental companies, hotels, sightseeing tour bus lines and other tourist attractions. These packages are quite common today in urban shopping malls located in major tourist destinations, and representatives from the shopping centre and tour and travel industries work closely together to include shopping as a factor for visitors when making their travel decisions. Even the government in Dubai recognised the importance and symbiotic relationship between the retail and the travel industry 14 years ago when they first started the ‘Layali Dubai’ Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) in 1996. The local government of Dubai worked closely with the travel industry and with ICSC member companies in Dubai to make DSF the success it ultimately became. It is now an annual event that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.

“[We have] worked closely with our affiliate Middle East Council & Shopping Centres (MESCS) co-hosting many events and tourism seminars.” SHOPPING TOURISM



A national past time What may have been until a few years ago just another appealing shopping destination, the UAE has formed a global image as the fashion capital of the Middle East, and indeed one of the trendiest places in the world to engage in all forms of retail therapy.



hile the UAE itself might not be an immediately familiar name in the international shopping arena, no one can deny that its individual emirates, most notably Dubai, have emerged as shopping tourism sensations and among the most famous destinations of their kind in the world. Ever since word spread nearly a decade ago of the UAE’s easy access, first-class accommodation, glitzy state-of-the-art malls, and high value – mainly due to the fact that products remain untaxed – the country has been attracting wealthy, brandconscious shoppers in their thousands from lucrative neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Iran, and from as far as East Asia and Western Europe. In reality, the vast majority of shopping tourism activity, whether materialised from a business or leisure trip, continues to take place in Dubai itself, with the emirate now globally considered as a one-stop shopping destination and regularly likened to A-list shopping destinations such as Paris, London, Milan and New York. “Retail tourism has been one of the key drivers of the Dubai economy for over a decade,” noted director of sales and marketing, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Nasser Fawzi, whose remarks carry weight as the hotel is located at the well-known Mall of the Emirates, home to one of the best retail and entertainment line-ups in the region, and one which describes itself as the world’s first ‘shopping resort’. Adding to this appeal, the Mall has also just seen the opening of another adjoining property – the 481-room Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates. “From our interactions with guests, we find that Dubai is largely seen as a destination that offers good value, and so shoppers are always keen on scoring good deals,” continued Fawzi. “The city also has a reputation, built over many years, as the shopping destination of choice for electronic products and gadgets, especially among tourists from the subcontinent. “The recent easing of previously-prevailing

travel restrictions has also played a big role in attracting shoppers from China, who are being watched with great interest by luxury fashion, leather goods and footwear brands in Dubai.” This observation was one also made by Dubai Outlet Mall, which is one of the only malls in Dubai to provide a daily tourism incentive programme for tourists at participating stores. “We are seeing more and more of these shopping visitors from Asia, particularly from the Chinese market,” director, Dubai Outlet Mall, Vishal Mahajan told TTG. Other industry experts reveal that tourists are seemingly staying longer in Dubai, a trend that is only serving to boost revenue in the retail and hospitality sector. “In the first quarter of 2010 alone, we saw that the average length of stay of guests increased by 11.3 per cent from 2.68 last year to 2.98 this year,” noted general manager, The Address Dubai Mall, Thomas Norberg, whose property suitably borders the 12 million ft2 The Dubai Mall – recognised as the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination. “All these are very positive indicators for the hospitality industry.” Welcome occasion Of all the positive events that grace the UAE’s shopping and hospitality calendar year-round, few are more highly-awaited than the annual Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), an initiative aimed at stimulating Dubai’s retail and tourism sectors in the slower summer months. Indeed, a recently-released report by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) indicated that sales at the emirate’s malls rose by 17 per cent during the 65-day festival in 2009, with total revenues at 23 shopping malls across Dubai reaching $406 million, up from $346 million at the same shopping malls in 2008. What is also significant is that retail sales during DSS 2010 were reportedly up on 2009 levels, and even newcomers benefited from the event: “We [Mirdif City Centre Mall] recently concluded our first edition of DSS and it proved extremely successful for us,” said

CASH IN ñ UAE vice president, Mirdif City Centre Mall, Yousif Al Ali. “Today, special offers and added value are important in attracting visitors, and the amazing promotions, discounts and entertainment lineup we had for DSS and the festival had a very positive effect on our footfall numbers.” A family affair Figures show that a trip to the mall has become one of the most popular components of any business or leisure trip to the UAE. In a recent international visitor survey commissioned by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, 83 per cent of those interviewed said they had shopped in malls during their stay, with 19 per cent having shopped in hotel boutiques and 34 per cent in traditional souqs. While weather conditions play an important part in forcing tourists indoors to the air-conditioned malls, a strong entertainment and leisure mix

has been found to be the biggest tourist-puller, particularly for families with children. “We have found that our visitors are looking for more of a holistic experience when they visit a mall,” explained Al Ali. “They not only want to be able to shop, but also enjoy top-class dining options, leisure and community services. Mirdif City Centre provides all of these things packaged within a super regional mall, which has been part of our success.” “Shopping is a family affair,” continued vice president sales and marketing – Middle East, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Toufic Tamim, who highlighted the brand new Mövenpick Ibn Battuta in Dubai as the group’s most exciting ‘shopping-oriented hotel’ – being located directly adjacent to Ibn Battuta Mall. “No one comes without their kids, but kids need to be entertained,” stressed Tamim. “That is why Mövenpick Ibn Battuta has already

Key events in UAE OCT 29 TO NOV 7

Colbert Festival, DUBAI

nov 8-11

InRetail Exhibition, DUBAI

DEC 13-15

6th Int. Fashion Jewellery Fair (IFJA) & (IWCF), Dubai

DEC 13-15


25th Int. Autumn Trade Fair (IATF), Dubai www.dubaiautumnfair

Summer annually

FEB 20-22

2011: Middle East Exclusive, DUBAI Summer in Abu Dhabi

JAN 20 TO FEB 20 MAY 11-12


Dubai Summer Surprises




Dubai Shopping Festival


22 Dubai Int. Jewellery Week, DUBAI TTG MENA

“[Dubai Summer Surprises] proved extremely successful for us. The amazing promotions, discounts and entertainment lineup had a very positive effect on our footfall numbers.” designed specific packages for GCC families to come shopping. [We] provide children with two hours’ free access to the hotel’s kids’ club, allowing parents to relax and shop. In fact, the strategy of our hotels on the weekends is based mainly around shopping; family entertainment, shopping and gastronomy.” Millennium & Copthorne Hotels is another example of a hotel group looking to capitalise on this sector. Regional director of sales and marketing – Middle East, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Tarek Elsherif explained: “We are working on dedicated shopping packages which offer special privileges to hotel guests, giving favourable rates and discounts for shoppers at the malls. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are key feeder markets for the UAE, and we cannot overlook Qatar, which drives a lot of shopping tourists – in fact we count a lot on Qatar.” In what has been described as its most attractive property for shoppers, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has just opened the mammoth 850-room Grand millennium Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi, right next door to the two-year old Al Wahda Mall. “Shopping will be important for the revenue of this hotel, and there are strong ties between the hotel and mall as part of our marketing activities,” commented Elsherif. With everything from modern

malls with high-end brand names to souk-like experiences in more traditional settings, it appears that the superior shopping-entertainment offering is what continues to drive the UAE’s attraction as a shopping haven. This, combined with luxury accommodation and the ongoing availability of modern infrastructure such as the new Dubai Metro – whose many train stations are located inside or adjacent to major shopping malls – the general consensus is that retail will continue to be a central factor in stimulating the UAE’s tourism growth. And whilst the tightening of pockets since the economic slowdown has led to a challenging retail market, the outlook for shopping tourism remains upbeat. Dubai-based Middle East Council of Shopping Centres has stated that the country’s retail offering is expected to grow significantly; following last year’s opening of three main Dubai shopping malls – namely Dubai Mall, Arabian Centre Dubai and Dubai Marina Mall – the biggest mall under construction in the world – Mall of Arabia, with 929,000m2 of leasable space, is expected to open in the near future. In addition to this, at least six shopping malls are slated to open in Abu Dhabi by 2012, which will add further choice for tourists in what is widely considered a true shopper’s paradise.

Shopping at its grandest


maar Malls Group, the shopping mall and retail subsidiary of Emaar Properties, has revealed it currently has investments in shopping malls of over $4 billion in MENA, the Indian Subcontinent and South Asia. Aside from the illustrious Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping centre, Emaar Malls Group also owns and manages Souk Al Bahar, an Arabesque shopping and entertainment development within the prestigious Downtown Dubai mixed-use development. Souk Al Bahar features 100 stores and F&B outlets framing the souk’s waterfront promenade, thus defining itself as an entertainment and leisure destination. Also in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina Mall, a lifestyle shopping

mall for residents of the Dubai Marina community, houses 160 stores spread over 390,000ft2 of gross leasable space. Sporting a distinctive architectural style with a circular atrium that makes use of its waterfront location, Dubai Marina Mall provides a tempting mix of tenants including fashion wear, accessories, jewellers, boutiques and toy shops, as well as the ‘boutique cinema experience’ six-screen Reel Cinemas. And finally, Gold & Diamond Park, a shopping destination dedicated to gold and jewellery, boasts 90 retail outlets dedicated to the gold and jewellery trade. The complex also offers 350 commercial units for a variety of business sectors and 118 manufacturing units for the gold and jewellery industry.

An address to REMEMBER Directly linked to the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, The Address Dubai Mall famously offers a bespoke Fashion Advising service, which allows guests and visitors the choice of a personalised shopping experience with expert tips from a fashion advisor. The unique service, which offers tips for power dressing, is a pioneering concept in the region that guests are increasingly keen to explore, according to general manager, The Address Dubai Mall, Thomas Norberg. Summarising the hotel’s USPs, Norberg told TTG: “Our unique location helps us to strategise distinctly and reach out to a wide range of clients, especially those

who like to indulge in the ultimate haute couture and high-street shopping experience that only The Dubai Mall can offer. “Visitors not only have the advantage of having direct access to some 1,200 retail outlets but also a roster of leisure attractions, such as Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice-Rink, SEGA Republic, KidZania, and the UAE’s largest megaplex, the 22-screen Reel Cinemas,” Norberg added. Through the mall, guests can also access At The Top at Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest observation deck in the world’s tallest building. Another prominent neighbouring attraction is the famous Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain.

Dubai’s only concept mall Located in Dubailand, Dubai Outlet Mall considers itself to be the only ‘outlet concept mall’ xxxxa mall whose in the Middle East, philosophy is all about value on famous premium and top fashion brands. With no less than 240 stores, 21 F&B outlets, and attractions that include two kids’ play areas, an ice-skating rink and bowling, the mall continues to draw the crowds, last year alone


welcoming over 200,000 tourists. Providing some explanation to its success, director, Dubai Outlet Mall, Vishal Mahajan said: “We have discounts of between 30 to 90 per cent every single day in our stores, and we are indeed the only mall in Dubai that has an incentive programme to provide even more value for tourists. The Outlet Plus Card, valid for one day, is available for all tourists to the mall and gives them extra

discounts and value offers from participating stores.” The mall also has its own daily free mall shuttle bus programme, picking up from hotels in the Bur Dubai, Deira, Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah and Dubai Marina areas, and it works closely with DMCs and tour leaders to send their tour groups. “We would recommend the travel trade include Dubai Outlet Mall in their itineraries, websites and

programmes because we have the best bargains around on amazing brands and we pride ourselves on providing a fantastic shopping experience,” added Mahajan. In terms of future developments, Mahajan revealed to TTG that Phase 2 of Dubai Outlet Mall will likely start construction in the very near future, a project which is set to double the size of the existing mall and the discounts and bargains to be had.



CASH IN ñ UAE Product development director, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Dayne Lim sheds some light on the very best that Abu Dhabi offers to its shoppinghungry tourists

Upcoming malls in Abu Dhabi include:

Boutik in the Sun Sorouh Real Estate’s ‘Boutik in the Sun’ retail mall will be housed in the Podium linking its Sun and Sky Towers on Reem Island. Scheduled to open in January 2011, the 13,400m2 mall will feature 70 premium brands including restaurants and cafés, convenience stores and retail outlets, with 500 dedicated parking spaces.

Which are Abu Dhabi's most popular locations to shop? Popular shopping venues in Abu Dhabi are currently Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Wahda Mall, the Heritage Village for souvenirs, and the Souk at Shangri-la Qary’at Al Bari in Abu Dhabi city. In Al Ain, the local souks are particularly popular as are the malls, including Al Bawadi Mall, Al Jimi Mall and Al Ain Mall. How important has shopping been for Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry?

What shopping developments can we expect in the future?

Watch out for the [end-of-year] phased opening of the Central In a recent international visitor Market in Abu Dhabi – on the survey commissioned by ADTA, site of the original souk, which 83 per cent of those interviewed burnt down in 2002. Accessible said they had shopped in malls at the intersection of Khalifa during their stay, with 19 per Street, Hamdan Street and Aircent having shopped in hotel port Road, Central Market will boutiques and 34 per cent in be a class apart from the typical traditional souqs, most notably shopping mall with its innovative Madinat Zayed Gold Souk and mix of retail, business, residential Mina Carpet Souk. and leisure facilities. Of those who did feature At street level, The Souk at Censhopping in their stay activities, tral Market comprises over 250 47 per cent bought souvenirs, 46 [market-style] outlets featuring per cent bought clothes, 25 per traditional artifacts, Arabic percent bought dates and 21 per fumes, local clothing and accessocent bought themselves ries, carpets, handicrafts perfumes. and art galleries. Our research shows “83 per cent Meanwhile, the that visitors are Emporium mall [of visitors] looking for an have shopped at Central Market unusual and ‘auwill have more in malls during than 150 fashion thentic’ shopping experience. Indeed, their stay” retail outlets, over shopping was ranked 20 F&B outlets, and among the top five attracan eight-screen cinema. tions in the recent survey, with The House of Fraser will be the local products, including date anchor store of the Emporium, produce, named among the most and is the first of the UK brand’s popular buys. outlets in the Middle East.



Yas Mall The 250,000m2 Yas Mall on Yas Island will be a super regional mall serving the UAE, GCC and world tourism markets and optimally located near Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the island’s seven hotels. Featuring a wide range of retail categories across 400 stores, including the largest IKEA store in the MENA region, Yas Mall is expected to open in the final quarter of 2012.

Popular in Abu Dhabi General manager, Al Raha Beach Hotel, Kamal Zayati believes there is nothing like having a mall next door to a hotel, a view borne out of his own experience with Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi. “Our guests find it very convenient to have a walk-in mall from the hotel,” he told TTG. “Shopping is hugely popular with our Russian and CIS guests, who are keen shoppers. It is also a big hit with our other guests from Europe and Asia. Guests here at Al Raha have the feeling of ‘home away from home’ when they stay with us.” Zayati also highlights the hotel’s peaceful and serene ambiance,

superior F&B, and ultra-spacious rooms as added bonuses. “You really couldn’t ask for more,” he suggested. “We also offer a complimentary shuttle services at prescheduled times to other malls in Abu Dhabi such as Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall.” By working closely with the travel trade, Al Raha Beach Hotel is able to get its shopping-related USPs across as efficiently as possible. “We draw attention to the fact that we have a mall next door, and in addition we keep the travel trade informed of our complimentary shuttle to the other malls in Abu Dhabi. “We also regularly host agents from around the world to experience Al Raha Beach Hotel’s service and facilities.”


Matchless location

For tourists coming to Dubai with the main intention of shopping, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates’ (MOE) location is simply unbeatable, as director of sales and marketing, Kempinski MOE, Nasser Fawzi comments: “As the hotel is directly connected to one of Dubai’s most popular malls, the element of proximity definitely comes into play. “Guests staying at the hotel can spend hours at the shops, knowing that the comforts of a hotel room are only moments away whenever they feel the need to rest or store away their purchases. “They can also choose to use the

services of a shopping butler who is very familiar with the mall layout, particular brands and stores, sales and discounts currently available and so on, and who can thus help guests make better use of their time in Dubai.” The hotel also offers special room packages that offer guests complimentary shopping vouchers to use at the mall. On request, the concierge can also assist with private in-room fashion consultations and viewings of new collections from the highest-end brands, which on some occasions offer special discounts to VIP guests.

New fashion dome in Dubai


he ever-popular Mall of the Emirates in Dubai has added to its appeal with the opening of a new luxury wing, the Fashion Dome. Adding a list of 42 high profile brands to the mall’s existing 477 retailers, the landmark lifestyle destination has further enhanced its shopping experience providing a wider choice in luxury fashion to its customers. Vice president, Mall of the Emirates, Fuad Sharaf commented: “With the addition of these handpicked fashion retail-



ers to our portfolio, we have broadened our appeal and promise to offer a truly VIP experience.” Spread over a gross leasable area of 10,500m2, Mall of the Emirates’ Fashion Dome is a one-stop destination for the fashionistas of the region offering high fashion names such as Christian Louboutin, Cartier, Canali, Galliano, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, and the largest D&G boutique in the region. Some of the existing premium retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Gucci who are already present at the mall will expand to bigger premises within the new Dome. Meanwhile, the family leisure offer at the mall already includes Magic Planet – one of the largest indoor family entertainment centres in Dubai, a 14-screen multiplex cinema, the world-renowned Ski Dubai, a five-star Kempinski hotel, and Accor’s brand new Pullman Mall of the Emirates.

20 years of shopping open since 1991 and adjoining the five-star Raffles Dubai, Wafi Mall was one of the very first malls in Dubai, but don’t let its age mislead you – communications manager, Wafi Mall, Aser Al Baseer reveals tourist inflow has been on the increase year after year. “Even after so many years, tourists enjoy shopping in the mall due to the great discounts, bargains and raffle draws. Especially during Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) we have many tourists visiting from GCC countries.” Wafi Mall accommodates over 380 shops, many of which are world-class international brands with exclusive labels, as well as 80 in its Souk Khan Murjan – an authentic Arabic experience described as a ‘must visit’ destination for all tourists. The mall is also a premier destination for family entertainment, award-winning restaurants, cafés, and an extensive luxurious health and leisure complex with the stunning Cleopatra’s Spa and Raffles Dubai. “Wafi’s extensive complimentary shuttle bus service plays a role in attracting a large number of tourist to the mall,” continued Baseer. “Shuttle services are provided to a number of hotels in Dubai and also at the Dubai Port Rashid Cruise Terminal. Additionally, we offer tourists a welcome pack that contains a discount card entitling them to discounts at various outlets at Wafi site – both in shopping and dining.”

Super regional mall

Since Mirdif City Centre’s opening on March 16 this year in Dubai, the mall has reportedly received a steady stream of visitors, including over 76,000 guests on the first day of trading and a whopping one million visitors in the first three weeks. As the latest regional shopping mall in the UAE by Majid Al Futtaim Properties – the leading shopping centre pioneer in the region, Mirdif City Centre offers visitors 430 branded stores, as well as an appealing lineup of entertainment concepts, many of which are new to the area.

These include an indoor skydiving centre, 10-pin bowling area, Soccer Circus – a fully interactive football attraction and the first of its kind in the region, as well as Cite des Enfants, a new concept specifically designed to help younger children explore their environment through interactive learning. All facilities are set within a light, easy to navigate and pleasant shopping environment. Vice president, Mirdif City Centre, Yousif Al Ali also highlighted the mall’s easy connectivity in the city. “Reaching out to the greater Dubai community is important for Mirdif City Centre, so the mall offers a hotel shuttle service for tourists from their hotel in Dubai to Mirdif City Centre and back. “The two buses visit four- and five-star hotels around the Deira and Sheikh Zayed Road areas and are operational seven days a week.”

Unique experienceS

Brand new opening In what was one of Dubai’s most eagerly awaited openings of the year, Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates has opened its doors at one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations. With direct access to the first level of Mall of the Emirates, guests of Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates can easily stroll to the shopping area and freely browse through 500 shops for a true shopping spree experience. Aside from shopping, they can also enjoy various recreational activities such as visiting the Magic Planet for kids or experiencing Ski Dubai – the largest indoor ski facility in the region. For the art and movie enthusiasts, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and a 14-screen cinema complex

are just a short walk away. Looking forward, director of sales and marketing, Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates, Leonard Theng reveals the hotel’s strategy with the travel trade: “We will work through various media channels focusing on key markets like the GCC, Europe and Asia. Together as working partners, we will formulate attractive packages targeting families, honeymooners, holiday-makers and tour groups. “Being the Pullman flagship hotel in the Middle East, our key travel trade partners can leverage on offering to their clientele the latest addition to the Accor hotels in the UAE – an experience of Pullman’s upscale product and service promise.” Upon opening, the first 1,000 guests at Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates received a mall booklet that provided special mall privileges such as discounts and giveaways from selected shopping areas.

An attractive visit in Dubai

W Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Emirates Towers have been highlighted by Jumeirah Group as its hotels of choice for tourists looking to add shopping to their list of activities during their stay in Dubai. Director of retail, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Samer Khanfar told TTG: “Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a recreation of an old Arabic souk, offering over 75 modern boutiques and souvenir stalls. This upscale bazaar environment also holds several alfresco and indoor dining.” Meanwhile, Boulevard Dubai at Jumeirah Emirates Tower can be summed up as a shopping destination with 13,050m2 and two floors of high-end shopping and trendy eateries. “Business meets pleasure here by way of The Boulevard,” remarked general manager, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Yiannis Anagnostakis. “In all, it offers more than 40 premium retail offerings.”

ith over 340 shops, 40 F&B outlets, and nothing short of a five-star luxury property – BurJuman Arjaan Rotana Suites – connected to the mall, BurJuman Centre is regarded as a destination which considerably leverages the luxury shopping experience in Dubai. Head of marketing and PR, BurJuman Centre, Sabina Khandwani explained: “BurJuman Centre has an exclusive selection of high-end fashion outlets such as Chanel, Balmain, Saks 5th Avenue and Louis Vuitton, and is therefore a particularly favourable shopping destination for people in search of luxury brands.” Khandwani also highlighted the Centre’s close tie-ups with the travel trade, notably with hotels, shuttle bus services, tour operators, tourist guides and travel websites, as well as its direct accessibility to the metro station. “Not only does BurJuman offer tourists the essence of a shopping experience within a luxury mall, but simultaneously provides tourists with an extraordinary location showcasing a more urban part of Dubai,” revealed Khandwani. “The location within Burj Dubai, one of the older parts of Dubai within proximity to the Dubai Museum, Gold Souk, and Dubai Creek, make a visit to BurJuman even more attractive.” SHOPPING TOURISM



Shopping in the UAE

...Which hotels would you recommend?

Vladimir Dabbah

Toufic Tamim

Tarek Elsherif

Omer Kaddouri

Vice president global sales – MEA, Marriott International

Vice president sales and marketing – Middle East, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Regional director of sales and marketing – Middle East, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Chief operating officer, Rotana

“If you look at Dubai, we have JW Marriott Dubai Hotel, which is adjacent and attached to Hamarain Shopping Mall in Deira. Apart from being Marriott’s flagship and oldest in the region, the hotel has made a mark in the MENA and GCC both for its stay experience and the shopping options on offer. In addition to this, we have other Marriott hotels in Dubai, such as Renaissance, Marriott Harbour Suites Hotel, Courtyard Green Community and Marriott Executive Apartments near Deira Creek and also the Green Community – all these are located close to shopping malls and leading shopping and entertainment hotspots in Dubai.”

“Most definitely Mövenpick Ibn Battuta, which just opened on October 1. It is adjacent to Ibn Battuta Mall and is in fact the first of our hotels directly adjacent to a mall. The hotel has already designed specific packages for GCC families to go shopping. The hotel will offer weekend stays with one night paid and the second night at big discounts. In addition, the hotel will provide all children up to the age of 12 years with free meals when eating with their parents, and provide children with two hours free access to the hotel’s kids’ club, allowing parents to relax and shop.”

“We have many hotels in the UAE considered important for the shoppers, yet the top are perhaps Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and Burjuman Arjaan by Rotana, Dubai. In September we also had the opening of Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana in Abu Dhabi. Situated on one of the country’s most stunning beaches, this fabulous alcohol-free city resort is close to one of the largest malls in the capital. The property features 443 luxurious rooms, suites and serviced apartments. In 2011, we will also open Marina Mall Arjaan by Rotana – Abu Dhabi, a property which will be linked to the largest mall in the capital, featuring 444 suites.”

“We have JW Marriott Dubai Hotel, which is adjacent and attached to Hamarain Shopping Mall in Deira.”

“Most definitely Mövenpick Ibn Battuta, which just opened on October 1.”

“For sure it’s the Grand millennium Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi, which has just officially opened. I see this as the strongest offering for Millennium in the shopping domain. Fully operational by the end of October and with 850 rooms, it is attached to Al Wahda Mall which opened just two years ago. Shopping will be important for the revenue of this hotel and there are strong ties between the hotel and mall as part of our marketing activities. Following that, I would also highlight Grand millennium Dubai, as it is close to Ibn Battuta Mall and even closer to Mall of the Emirates. Also there is Copthorne Hotel Dubai, literally across the street from the exciting Deira City Centre shopping and entertainment complex.”



“The top [hotels] are perhaps Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and Burjuman Arjaan by Rotana, Dubai.”

O t h e r h o t e ls p r o p os e d b y: Yigit Sezgin Global director of sales and marketing, The Rezidor Hotel Group Radisson Blu Dubai Marina “This hotel is perfect as it is adjacent to Dubai Marina Mall. It is very popular with the GCC market.”

Radisson Dubai Deira Creek

Tom Rowntree Vice president commercial – MEA, InterContinental Hotels Group

“This is one of Dubai's highest-occupied hotels, and in fact one of the most important for Rezidor. There is a popular shopping arcade at the hotel and it is close to Deira City Centre Mall.”

Olivier Venus

“When it comes to shopping, the old adage ‘location, location, location’ is true. We’re fortunate at IHG to have hotels located next to many of the region’s leading shopping centres. We have InterContinental Dubai Festival City (DFC) and Crowne Plaza DFC which connect to DFC’s Shopping Mall – Festival Centre – a 853,000m2 mall with over 600 shops. DFC is the premier family lifestyle destination in Dubai offering superb shopping, spa and leisure amenities for all the family, as well as InterContinental’s Al Badia, one of the premier golf courses in the UAE. Likewise, Crowne Plaza Dubai also has its own connecting mall. In fact, all 16 of our hotels within the UAE are close to major shopping precincts, making them ideally located for guests who like to shop – whether travelling on business or leisure.”

Director of communications, Accor

Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach “This hotel occupies a prime waterfront site in Dubai Marina. It opens directly onto The Walk – Dubai’s most popular beachside shopping and recreation promenade.”

Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates “This brand new hotel provides direct access to the first level of the famous Mall of the Emirates. Aside from shopping at 500 shops, guests can also enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as the Magic Planet for kids and Ski Dubai – the largest indoor ski facility in the region. For the art and movie enthusiasts, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and a 14-screen cinema complex are just a short walk away.”




Euroshop Any dedicated follower of fashion, from the budding trendsetters to the celebrated connoisseurs of haute couture, knows that when it comes to established international fashion capitals of the world, there is one continent that rules the roost.


ome to Milan, London, and Paris, which rank among the top fashion capitals of the world, Europe also boasts forward-thinking style hubs such as Berlin, Rome, Monaco, Prague and Barcelona. The media frenzy and the lavish spread of glitterati that surrounds the annual fashion weeks such as those hosted in Milan and London, should be enough to endorse these destinations’ status as in-vogue capitals of all things trendy, but on top of this Europe also boasts a plethora of dedicated festivals to further promote the purseemptying past-time. So with such a wide variety of urban hubs and cosmopolitan metropolises to choose from, as well as a list of flight connections between Europe and MENA as long as your credit card receipt, it is no wonder then that the Middle Eastern shopaholics have long been fans of this particular breed of Euro-trip. Range of choice and facility of access is not all Europe has working in its favour as a top fashion hot-spot; quality rules over quantity in terms of the superior brands available in the region, and with the MENA travellers preferring high-end brands, Europe scores high on the places-to-shop list. “Shoppers from MENA are an important part of the tourists coming from outside the EU,” explained CEO - development, McArthurGlen, Gary Bond, whose company is one of Europe’s leading developers, owners and managers of designer outlet villages since 1995. “Once again, it is for the top brand names at discounts of 30 to 70 per cent and the leisure environment with stylish cafés and restaurants, as well as a full annual programme of events.” Regarding the visitor from the Middle East, he added that this market tends to account for a high-average spend. “In recent months we have noticed a perceptible boom in customers from the Middle East, in particular the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Syria. These customers on average spend more than other customer groups; we’re talking about an average purchase of many hundred Euros per person. The top stores among visitors from the Middle East are Zegna, Escada, KIDS, and Calvin Klein Jeans.” And as if that wasn’t reason enough for the MENA visitors to come flocking to Europe’s malls and outlets, tourists are also able to claim a VAT refund on purchases. The results are pointing towards signs that they are indeed making the most of this service, with CEO, Value Retail Management, Desirée Bollier, whose company boasts the nine famous Chic Outlet Shopping Villages in Europe, explaining: “Prices at our Villages are reduced by up to 60 per cent all year round, in addition to the tax free savings (up to 15 per cent) available to non-EU residents.”

Following the successful launch of an expanded VAT refund service within Paris earlier this summer, Kanoo Travel – one of the largest independent groups in the Gulf, and Premier Tax Free – Europe’s major Tax Free Shopping provider, announced that they have further extended this partnership to include the UK. The Tax Free Shopping concept allows non-European residents to pay less for purchases made within the EU.

“We have noticed a perceptible boom in customers from the Middle East, in particular the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Syria. These customers on average spend more than other customer groups.” UK legislation states that tourists must spend more than í30 ($40) in one store and on the same day in order to become eligible. They then receive a VAT refund voucher at the point of sale and are required to present their goods to customs upon leaving the EU. With VAT currently at 17.5 per cent in the UK and due to increase to 20 per cent in 2011, this equates to significant savings for visitors from the MENA and beyond. Available initially from branches located in the Haymarket and Knightsbridge areas of London, this new service allows international tourists to receive instant VAT refunds in cash with ease and efficiency, on the day of purchase prior to going to airport customs. “Until now, most customers have had to obtain their cash refunds at the airport, adding to the time spent there,” commented senior general manager, Kanoo Travel, Nabeel Kanoo. “By offering refunds in cash at city centre locations, our aim is that customers will spend more of their time enjoying London, rather than additional time at airports.” According to Premier Tax Free, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait account for 10.4 per cent of the tax refund turnover in Paris. The average basket of tax-refunded goods purchased by these countries is \well over the average – €1,389 ($1,820) compared to €878 ($1,150).




view from milan’s duomo cathedral

It came as no surprise in 2009 when the Global Language Monitor, which every year nominates the top fashion capitals of the world, declared that Milan was the top economic and media global capital of fashion. Several major fashion brands, such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, are currently headquartered in the city, and it is also host to the famous Milan Fashion Week twice a year. Most of the main shopping areas can easily be explored on foot through the city’s famous cobbled streets. Highlights include: The Fashion Quadrilateral: This is Milan’s main upscale fash-

ion district, home to the city’s most prestigious shopping streets (Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia). In this area, luxury is celebrated in the show-rooms of the world’s most luxurious brands. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: This arcade has always served

as Milan’s drawing room, filled with cafés and bookshops as well as some of the top international designers. The Gallery is one of the symbols of Milan: built in the late 19th century, it was the first building in Europe to be roofed solely in steel and glass. Antiques Market: Milan’s antique market is held on the banks of

the Navigli canals on the last Sunday of each month. A long, colourful line of stalls is dedicated to antique and modern goods, from furniture to books, stamps and jewellery among various other items. Navigli: The centre of alternative stores and street style, this is an ideal spot for a special purchase like second hand or unique one-off clothing, hand-made shoes and unusual accessories.





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PIONEERING CYPRUS Open since September 2007, The Mall of Cyprus attracts over 4.5 million visitors yearly. General manager, The Mall of Cyprus, Marios Chiromerides reveals what drives its popularity. What drives tourists to The Mall of Cyprus? Although the exact number of tourists visiting The Mall of Cyprus is difficult to measure, a good percentage visit during their stay in Cyprus. Tourists are attracted by the combination of 40 shops (including fashion, footwear, beauty, and sports) as well as restaurants and coffee shops [10 in total] under one roof. They also come for the five cinema screens and many events taking place, free covered parking, and various

facilities such as free WiFi and a kids’ playground. To remind tourists of our presence, we mainly use advertising via specialised magazines at airline carriers, hotels, and municipality magazines. Luckily the project is at the entrance of Nicosia at a strategic location which makes it easy for tourists to include this in their visit to Nicosia. There is also a convenient bus service from the Nicosia city centre. What future developments can we expect at The Mall of Cyprus? The Mall of Cyprus is a dynamic project with a number of events taking place all the time. We are re-evaluating the tenant mix to add more shops and are considering expanding the project further. At the same time, with the completion of the Shacolas Emporium Park, which includes the nearby retail buildings Annex 3 and Annex 4, more shops and services will be added, and in combination with IKEA, the Shacolas Emporium Park will be the first choice for tourists for many years to come.



Outstanding services Creator and operator of nine Chic Outlet Shopping Villages throughout Europe, Value Retail Management takes quality and hospitality very seriousLY. CEO, Value Retail Management, Desirée Bollier explains how the Villages provide compelling European shopping experiences for MENA travellers. “Prices [at our Outlet Villages] are reduced by up to 60 per cent all year round, in addition to the tax free savings (up to 15 per cent) available to non-EU residents.” Please give us an outline of Value Retail Management. Value Retail is the only company to specialise in the development of luxury outlet Villages in Europe. Outlet shopping originally emerged in the US in the 1970s as a way for brands to sell off surplus merchandise or last seasons’ collections. Prior to the launch of the first Chic Outlet Shopping Village (Bicester Village 1995), the European outlet sector was relatively undeveloped. When Value Retail introduced its business model in the 1990s, the world’s leading brands were offered a productive way of distributing their surplus stock that simultaneously protected their brand positioning and values. Value Retail has since redefined the luxury outlet concept for a European landscape; our chairman Scott Malkin had the vision to create unique destinations in culturally-rich regions less than an hour away from major cities in Europe that make for a smart solution for a day shopping trip or weekend break. Today we are an international shopping destination. The constant drive to satisfy our customer’s

desire for luxury makes us quite a unique proposition with over 885 luxury outlet boutiques offering previous seasons’ collections from the world’s leading international and niche European fashion brands. What makes the Chic Outlet Villages so appealing for MENA travellers? Our Villages are not simply outlet centres; they are shopping destinations. We aim to offer visitors a memorable day out in an authentic ‘European’ environment. From the moment our customer enters one of the Villages, she is greeted with a plethora of world-class services; personal shoppers, Tourist Information Centres, restaurants and cafés offering local and European cuisine, and even prayer rooms are available. She can travel to our Villages using the Shopping Express coach service which transports passengers directly from the main nearby city, and we also offer swift shuttle services operating between nearby train stations. It is possible to arrange a private transfer. The importance of tourism to our business is shown through the

Global Blue tax refunded sales across our collection. According to the tax refunded sales recorded in 2009 the Middle East was the second largest contributing market, with a 55 per cent increase versus 2008. The desirable locations of our Villages are paramount to our proposition as an international shopping destination. We cater to those seeking trips that combine a luxury shopping experience with fine gastronomy, spa days, cultural experiences, be they the theatre, museums and art galleries or leading sporting events, including Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby of which Kildare Village [Ireland] is a sponsor. How do you work with the travel trade? At least 30 per cent of our customers are tourists, with our top

visiting nationalities being Chinese, Brazilian, Russian, Middle Eastern and South East Asian. Value Retail works with the travel industry through the development of travel programmes, packages, and bespoke itineraries. We have a network of representatives in all of our major international markets. Key trade partners include national tourist boards, tour operators and travel agents, airlines, hotel groups and local hotel concierge, to name but a few. In the Middle East, we avail the support of dedicated sales representation agency, Gulf Reps, which covers the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Some of our key partners in the region include Cox & Kings, UAE; Prime Travel, UAE; Kanoo Travel, Bahrain; Al Jarallah, Kuwait; Oman Air Holidays, Oman; and Etihad Holidays, UAE.

“We are located no more than one hour outside of a major European city, so we offer the perfect ‘shopcation’ opportunity with a mix of big name fashion brands and niche European selection, likely to be less widely available in the Middle East.”





Intelligent Shopping International promotion manager – Asia and Middle East, Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, Patricia Barthelemy explains why Paris is one of the world’s most attractive shopping destinations.

anised, and on Sunday when the streets around the arteries of Francs-Bourgeois and Temple are closed to traffic.” When to go to Paris and where to stay?

7th arrondissement, paris

You have described Paris as a place of ‘intelligent shopping’. Why so? Paris is the capital of the tax refund, with a 12 per cent discount for non-European visitors. All through the year, foreign visitors living outside the EU benefit from an additional tax refund of 12 per cent. To qualify for the tax refund, the client must live outside the EU for more than six months of the year, be more than 15 years of age, and make a purchase of more than €175 ($229) on the same day in the same shop. Shopping is officially the second motivation to visit Paris for 46 per cent of our visitors, after museums and monuments (65 per cent of visitors). What can you tell us about MENA spending in Paris? According to Premier Tax Free, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait account for 10.4 per cent of the tax refund turnover in Paris. The average basket of tax-refunded goods purchased by these countries is well over the average: €1,389 ($1,820) compared to €878 ($1,150). 34


What are some of Paris’ top shopping venues? One of the most attractive points in Parisian shopping is that the offer is spread out all over the city. There isn’t just one shopping district – the whole capital is a wonderful open-air shopping centre. Here are some examples: ñ The Golden Triangle – from the place de l’Étoile via the avenues George-V and Montaigne to the rond-point des Champs d’Elysées, Paris offers its best here. Prestigious brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Hugo Boss, Chanel, Kenzo or the newly-arrived Ralph Lauren rub shoulders with leatherwear stores, car showrooms, auction houses and megastores. ñ The winning trio: Saint-Germain-des-Près, Sèvres-Babylone, Rue de Rennes – in this heart of Paris, there is something for every taste and budget. The majority of these districts also have numerous shoe shops and famous Parisian cafés for a 100 per cent shopping day. ñ Opera district – there is a lot happening in the Opéra and boulevard Haussmann district. The department stores have been

getting a makeover: Galeries Lafayette has opened a 3,200m2 shoe department, the world’s largest, and has extended its Luxury and Fashion floor by 1,500m2, while Printemps, for its part, has revealed a luxury makeover. ñ The Marais area – a popular shopping district characterised by trendy in-vogue boutiques as well as classic but not-to-be-missed shops. It is a pleasant place for a stroll particularly since the rue des Rosiers has become pedestriCountry

No. of transactions

Saudi Arabia UAE Qatar Kuwait Total 4 Countries Total All Countries

14,363 10,028 4,434 6,959 35,784 543,537

The different fashion weeks which rhythm the year are not-to-bemissed. The [summer and winter] sales are also a good opportunity to focus on the city. Twice per year in January and July, retailers liquidate their previous season’s collections offering reductions of up to 70 per cent during the 30 days leading up to the sales. Paris offers over 1,400 hotels and 76,000 rooms. Until today, around 15 hotels have been granted with a fifth star, including Fouquet’s Barrière, Square, Hyatt Regency Paris Madeleine, Ritz, Marriott Champs-Elysées and Le Meurice Hotel. There is also Renaissance Paris Vendôme, Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe, Park Hyatt Vendôme, FourSeasons George V, Plaza Athénée, Champs Elysées Plaza, Hôtel de Sers, Intercontinental Avenue Marceau, Scribe Paris by Sofitel, Hotel Le Bristol, and Sofitel Paris la Défense. Sales in stores

Average expenses

22,961,167 11,749,847 7,929,073 7,063,449 49,703,537 477,380,396

1,599 ($2,093) 1,172 ($1,543) 1,788 ($2,341) 1,015 ($1,329) 1,389 ($1,819) 878 ($1,150)

CANNES With nearly three km of promenade, sandy beaches, palm trees, luxury boutiques and palace hotels, La Croisette in Cannes is renowned as one of the most famous avenues in the world to shop. Already hosting Chanel, Boucheron, Dior, Ferre, Bvlgari, Christian Lacroix, Fendi, Chopard, Breguet, Hermès, Zegna, Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and a host of others, La Croisette rubs shoulders with some of the most ‘chic’ shopping streets in the world. At 65 La Croisette, the brand new luxury shopping complex next to Hôtel Martinez, since May Burberry, Botega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint-Laurent, Brioni and Balenciaga stores have all opened stores – a revival which continued in 2009 with the opening of a vast Gucci boutique in June. Furthermore, every January since 2004, festival goers give free rein to their taste for fashion, luxury, gastronomy over four days. Beautiful people, fashionistas and dandies start the year with a spree on La Croisette. They profit from private sales, enjoy preferential rates at hotels, attend fashion parades by promising young designers and recognised talents, and dine at the best restaurants in the city. Furthermore, gala evenings combine the finest foods designed by famous international labels.

in the heart of fashion






Media relations manager, Visit Berlin, Christian Taenzler summarises the very best of shopping in East and West Berlin.

hackesche hÖfe, berlin

Which are Berlin’s most popular shopping venues? Shopping in City-West With a length of more than four km, the Kurfürstendamm (or Ku´damm) and the Tauentzienstrasse make up Berlin’s famous tourist shopping mile in the western part of the city. If you commence your shopping tour at the Wittenbergplatz in Schöneberg you will soon find yourself at the Kaufhaus des Westens which exerts a magnetic appeal for visitors from all over the world. As the biggest department store in mainland European, it offers lovers of luxury a wide range of ladies’ and gentlemen’s fashions and everything else that makes life even

better spread over eight floors. On the boundary between CityWest and City-East lies the shopping area around the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin-Tiergarten. Berlin’s ‘new Mitte’ entices visitors with culture, entertainment and a wide range of opportunities for a varied shopping experience. The arcades (Arkaden), covering more than 40,000m2, offer an attractive range predominately from the clothing sector. One particular highlight which will be of interest primarily to fans of technology is the store in the neighbouring Sony Centre. Shopping in City-East After the Kurfürstendamm, the second most important shopping address is the Friedrichstrasse in

Geneva’s Pass to diversity

GT&C has released Geneva Pass city card, a card which offers its bearer a series of free entries, discounts and gifts at 25 Geneva attractions, including shops, museums, excursions, cruises, and sports activities. With its 37 benefits, including a special offer during the Geneva Festival, the Geneva Pass highlights the richness and diversity of what Geneva has to offer. Priced at 25 francs ($5), 35 ($7) or 45 ($9) for a validity of one, two or three days respectively, it pays for itself after two benefits. The new product is part of the marketing strategy of GT&C to promote tourism in Geneva. In bringing the players together, GT&C has been able to count on the dynamism of its partners, united in their common desire to promote Geneva as a diversityrich destination. 36


the Mitte district of Berlin. This runs from the Oranienburger Tor as far as the Mehringplatz at the Hallesches Tor in Kreuzberg. The Upper East side Berlin on the corner of Friedrichstrasse/Unter den Linden, with its new buildings, smart offices and numerous coffee shops nearby is faintly reminiscent of New York’s district of the same name. In the eight-storey high-end building, with 40,000m2 available for shops, offices and apartments, fashion enthusiasts will find the flagship stores of well-known fashion companies. To the south of Berlin’s central boulevard is where luxury shopping par excellence begins. In addition to the well-known Galeries Lafayette, the Friedrichstadtpassagen house Quartiers 205 and 206, which offer international fashion for the fashion elite. One of the best shopping addresses in the German capital is the design and lifestyle department store in Quartier 206. Pure luxury is on sale on almost 3,000m2 of international designer clothing, accessories, jewellery, books, photo

art and flowers. The Cabinet, showcasing 60 labels has just been added to the store. What advice might you give to the MENA travel trade? For your shopping packages we advise the Berlin Welcome Card. The Card is not only a travel card which enables free travel with public transport – it also offers over 150 sales reduction partners and discounts of at least 25 per cent and up to 50 per cent, as well as an extensive travel guide with various tour suggestions and helpful insider tips. Visit Berlin offers the travel trade numerous service features: from product training to study trips up to the promotion materials for their clients. We will also gladly support them with the development of products that are in line with the market.

Shopping weekend in Switzerland


eneva Tourism & Conventions (GT&C) has confirmed to TTG that the Shopping Weekend Offer that has graced shoppers to Geneva in 2010 will be available throughout 2011 as well. Set on the shores of Lake Geneva, Geneva is famous for its boutiques and stores selling fashion, watches and clocks, jewellery and luxury goods, and tourists who go to the city to do their shopping will have a host of benefits. The Shopping Weekend in Geneva special offer includes: ñ Accommodation in a single or double room, including breakfast, in the participating hotels

ñ One shopping voucher for each reservation, which can be used in the Globus store (valid for 24 months) ñ A travel card for each person valid throughout the stay for use on public transport network ñ Printed material with information about Geneva GT&C has stressed that visitors should not miss out on the ‘Saturday markets’, including the one in Carouge, an old Sardinian town just 15 minutes away from the city centre by public transport. It is a great opportunity for relaxation that can also be interspersed with the discovery of shops, as Carouge is famous for its fashionable little boutiques.

Destination shopping With 19 designer outlet villages across Europe, McArthurGlen is a specialist in retail tourism on the grandest scale. CEO – development, McArthurGlen, Gary Bond talks to TTG about the company’s new ventures, and why it attracts so many shoppers from MENA Please give our readers an overview of McArthurGlen. McArthurGlen is Europe’s leading developer, owner and manager of designer outlet villages since introducing outlet retailing to Europe in 1995, with the opening of Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet in the UK. Our current portfolio of 19 designer outlet villages across the UK and Continental Europe, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, comprises 500,000m2 of retail space, housing over 750 brands in 2,000 stores. Visited annually by nearly 75 million people, the entire portfolio generated over $2.7 billion in retail sales in 2009. Since mid-2009, McArthurGlen has opened new designer outlets in Berlin, Salzburg and Naples, with additional new projects under development in Athens and Hamburg, set to open in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Is tourism something you consider when choosing new locations? Our 19 designer outlets are all located near cities and in regions of touristic interest, from La Reggia Designer Outlet near Naples, which is close to tourist hot-spots such as Sorrento, Capri and Positano, to Designer Outlet Berlin, which is 30 minutes from the centre of Berlin and receives more than eight million tourists annually. When we look for sites to open new centres, the tourism potential is always a key factor, both in terms of national and international tourists. Shopping tourism is a key element for all of our centres. Tourists from around the world are attracted by the top international brand names, in particular the luxury and designer fashion brands, which offer all year-round discounts of 30 to 70 per cent, and an enjoyable, stylish environla reggia designer outlet near naples, italy

ment where customer service and experience is paramount. How important has the MENA tourism market been for you? Shoppers from MENA are an important part of the tourists coming from outside the EU. Once again, it is the top brand names at discounts of 30 to 70 per cent and the leisurely environment, with stylish surroundings,

“Our 19 designer outlets are all located in regions of touristic interest, from La Reggia Designer Outlet near Naples to Designer Outlet Berlin, which receives more than eight million tourists annually.”

cafés and restaurants, as well as a full annual programme of events. In recent months we have noticed a perceptible boom in customers from the Middle East, in particular the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Syria. These customers on average spend more than other customer groups; we’re talking about an average purchase of several hundred Euros per person. They are particularly attracted by the top designer brands such as Valentino, Escada or Zegna, and Calvin Klein Jeans, but also children’s brands, such as Burberry and Chloe. How do you work with the travel trade to attract more tourists? McArthurGlen is committed to work closely with the international travel industry via: ñ Special discounts and offers for group visits ñ Attending key tourism trade markets, for example, Travel Trade Italia (TTI) in Rimini, given the particular importance of our five Italian designer outlets in terms of international tourism ñ We also have a full programme of link-ups with companies working in tourism, from hotels to tour operators, to local ski resorts, golf courses, etc. ñ Linking up with local tourism bodies. For example, at Ashford in the UK, we have linked up with the Visit Kent London campaign, and at our Veneto Designer Outlet at Noventa di Piave, near Venice, we have linked up with the local authorities. SHOPPING TOURISM





With a favourable exchange rate, there has never been a better time for holidaymakers to indulge in value-for-money retail therapy in the UK. UAE manager, VisitBritain, Carol Maddison explains, revealing some of the UK’s best shopping destinations: London: London’s Oxford Street is one of the longest shopping streets in the whole of Britain. Pretty much every major brand, as well as individual unique brands, restaurants and cafes can be found here. Selfridges, for example, a high-end department store popular with locals, visitors as well as UK celebrities, has opened the biggest shoe department in the world. At the same time, in between hundreds of shops, you’ll find visitors wanting to relax while touring the area’s 15 churches. In fact there are so many shopping districts in the UK that sit alongside historical and beautiful sites that every shopping expedition can be extremely appealing to international guests. For classic British style, visitors will love the buzz of Carnaby Street and Covent Garden, which boasts a world-famous opera house that has been converted over the years into a boutique shopping district, consisting of funky shops and cozy cafes. Meanwhile, Westfield Shopping Centre is only 20 minutes on the Underground from Piccadilly Circus and 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport. Westfield has over 265 stores, 40 of those are luxury brands housed within The Village, anchored by Louis Vuitton. In addition it has five anchor stores including Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Next, House of Fraser and Waitrose, as well as a 14-screen cinema and nearly 50 places to eat. Outside London: Just outside London in Kent sits one of the UK’s premier shopping malls, Bluewater, which spans more than 53 hacres and boasts over 50 F&B outlets and extensive leisure activities. In Scotland, Edinburgh’s Princes Street – home to Jenners, the oldest department store in the world – and the Style Mile in nearby Glasgow are both proving popular with MENA

princes street, edinburgh, scotland

travellers due to the wide range of new designer brands and traditional Scottish goods. The Welsh capital of Cardiff prides itself on the new and formidable 100-shop St.David’s2 Shopping Centre located in the south of the city. Tourists to Cardiff also head to the Cardiff Bay waterfront for stylish shops situated next to contemporary eateries. Chester, in the North of England, offers another historic shopping experience with the city’s main retail area, the ‘Rows’, which has been renovated from original 14th century buildings. Just 30 minutes drive or train ride from Chester is Manchester, the self-styled home of urban chic and effortless cool, which offers shoppers an array of ultra modern clothing stores as well as more well-known high street stores. For a more eclectic shopping experience, a trip to Brighton on the South East coast of

England is a must. Head to the ‘Lanes’, a maze of twisting alleyways, for quirky fashion and jewellery designs, one-off gifts, and to sample the local produce on offer at a multitude of cafes and restaurants that line the cobbled seaside streets. And don’t forget festivals such as London’s Notting Hill Carnival, Stratford-UponAvon’s Shakespeare Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival which all take place annually and attract thousands of visitors from around the world who often also take the opportunity to shop. Finally, the Stratford City Mall, a $2.34 billon shopping complex, due to open in the spring of 2011, will be located next to the Olympic Park in Stratford in the East of London. This vast complex will host more than 300 shops.

“For classic

British style, visitors will love the buzz of Carnaby Street and Covent Garden.”

Soundbite: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London: “Our European flagship property boasts an unrivalled location with fabulous views on one side of London’s Hyde Park and on the other, exclusive Knightsbridge. This luxurious five-star hotel represents one of the finest addresses in the capital. The hotel is ideal for guests looking for luxurious retail with Harvey Nichols located across from the hotel, and just down the road from Harrods.” PR manager – EMEA, Mandarin Oriental Group, Live Haugen 40



Open since 1849, Harrods – the world’s most celebrated department store, is officially the third most visited destination by tourists when in London. With its seven floors and 1.2 million ft2 of space on the Brompton Road in the exclusive borough of Knightsbridge, Harrods welcomes some 42,000 visitors per day, and in the run up to Christmas and during sales this figure can double. Not only does the store operate a VAT refund service and hire staff who speak 40 languages between them; there are also departments selling special keepsakes of the store. And specifically for the travel trade, Harrods has shopping packages that offer discounted package rates and commission. Future plans include a store tour which will allow travellers to come in and see some of the secrets behind the store. Aside from the Knightsbridge store, Harrods also has ‘tax-free’ shops at Heathrow Airport, at both terminals at Gatwick, at Lisbon and Kuala Lumpur airports, as well as at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre shopping complex in Malaysia. It also boasts 38 Food Halls and signature shops throughout Japan, five shops in Taiwan in Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, one in Singapore in Takashimaya Department Store, and even shops on board Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and Queen Victoria cruise ships.

INSIDE INFO 68 per cent of all visitors from Saudi Arabia went shopping for clothes/accessories when they visited Britain (amongst ‘holiday’ visitors this figure rose to 80 per cent). This compares to 56 per cent for the UAE, rising to 72 per cent amongst ‘holiday’ visitors, and to 64 per cent from other Gulf States (81 per cent amongst ‘holiday’ visitors).

Big savings for MENA travellers Following the successful launch of their expanded VAT refund service within Paris earlier this summer, Kanoo, one of the largest independent groups in the Gulf, and Premier Tax Free, Europe’s major Tax Free Shopping provider, have announced that they have further extended this partnership to include the UK. Available initially from within two Kanoo Foreign Exchange branches located in the Haymarket and Knightsbridge areas of London, this new service allows international tourists to receive instant VAT refunds in cash with ease and efficiency, from one of two city centre branches on the day of purchase prior to going to airport customs. “Until now, most customers have

had to obtain their cash refunds at the airport, adding to the time spent there,” commented senior general manager, Kanoo Travel, Nabeel Kanoo. “By offering refunds in cash at city centre locations, our aim is that customers will spend more of their time enjoying London, rather than additional time at airports.” The Tax Free Shopping concept allows non-European residents to pay less for purchases made within the EU. UK legislation says that tourists must spend more than €30 in one store and on the same day in order to become eligible. They then receive a VAT refund voucher at the point of sale and are required to present their goods to customs upon leaving the EU.

Shopping in Somerset Having attracted over 4.1 million visitors in 2009, Clarks Village is officially in the top four outlet centres in the UK, and indeed the top tourist attraction in the South West of England. Nestled in the midst of Somerset, with the famous Glastonbury Abbey and the Glastonbury Tour just some 15 minutes away, the openair Clarks Village was the very first outlet centre to be built in the UK some 16 years ago, and presents a unique, quintessentially English environment that lends itself more to London’s Covent Garden than a normal shopping mall.

According to director, Somerset Tourism Association (STA), John Turner, the outlet works closely with STA and the close-by Bristol Airport in attracting visitors, with the launch of a unique take-away brochure that gives visitors great deals off ticket prices at Clarks Village and other attractions and hotels in Somerset. Turner told TTG: “60 per cent of all our customers are tourists. We now have many foreign visitors, seeing a recent increase in foreign visitors cashing in on the weakness of the pound, and the fact that the Bristol Airport is only a 40-minute drive.” SHOPPING TOURISM



dubai duty free, terminal one

Conducive environments


ver since the world’s first airport duty free shop was launched amidst much hype at Shannon Airport in Ireland in 1947, one relentless strategy has been at the heart of duty free operators the world over – to increase overall spend per passenger, and to do so within the delicate short time span that exists between check-in and take-off. A closely monitored evaluation, and even influence, of passenger behaviour has followed, albeit at the expense of the oblivious customer, in order to profit as much as possible from their short presence at the airport. As a result, we have widely seen, at least in most

forward-thinking duty free operations in the world, a surge in cleverly-formulated sales incentives programmes, innovative marketing promotions, and strategically-laid out shopping environments. Managing director, Dubai Duty Free (DDF), Colm McLoughlin, whose operation is hailed as the biggest in the world with over $600 million sales recorded in the first half of 2010 alone, confirmed how important it is to know the different profiles of customers and to appeal to them during their pre-departure waiting time; estimated to be between 20 and 25 minutes. “Good value-for-money, special offers and clever promotions are increasingly needed to

entice passengers to spend more and do their shopping at the airport,” he told TTG. He also stressed that while certain ‘core’ products have proven recession-proof, there is still a vigilant approach to spending in the duty free business. “Despite some visible recovery in the global travel retail business, it is quite evident that travellers are still cautious in spending their money. “Nevertheless, DDF continues to be strong in categories like perfumes and cosmetics, delicatessen, confectionery, liquor, and cigarettes, which are the core travel retail categories.” For many duty free operators, such ‘core’ products can indeed account for up to 70 per

cent of revenue, such as in the case of Bahrain Duty Free, whose strategic ‘hub’ location allows it to thrive on the Asian and Gulf markets. The challenge for many operators, according to head of marketing and HR, Bahrain Duty Free, Adel Redha, is to extend this success on to the other products as well. “Such is our success with these core categories that we are under pressure to make sure that the other products are relatively cheaper or on par, for example with electronics and luxury goods. “We can’t turn non-buyers into buyers, but what we try to do is to tap into the impulse- and highlydisposable income buyers, and to create a sense of place; an atmosphere in which the customer can relax and get into buying mode.” Whether the desire to shop at the last minute is motivated by duty free’s perceived price competitiveness, end-of-trip convenience, or pure impulse, providing a conducive, well-considered shopping environment with the latest products is key to being successful. “In comparison with the recent past when travellers were solely interested in competitive prices, modern travellers are looking for easy access in order not to waste valuable time, and also for authentic, fresh, newly launched products and excellent service,” explained CEO, Hellenic Duty Free Shops, George Velentzas. His company has consequently answered this trend by renovating and developing new stores according to all new shopping trends, and now boasts a network of 90 stores at 45 different points across Greece. Over in Germany, Gebr. Heinemann, celebrated operator of duty free shops at several airports across Germany and Austria, and which boasts a group turnover of $2.4 billion, is tackling these challenges by implementing a new duty free concept called ‘Heinemann Duty Free’ within the coming months. It has also introduced monthly special offers at 30 per cent below

normal duty free prices, and has even enabled a service whereby travellers are able to call in their orders or shop online before arriving at the airport. “The purchased items can then be picked up at the service counter on the passengers’ way to the boarding gates,” said owner, Gebr. Heinemann, Gunnar Heinemann. “And we are also implementing home delivery at the moment.” Retail concessions director, Heathrow Airport, Brian Woodhead further maintained that while the history of airport shopping is based on a strong price advantage, increasingly passengers are motivated to shop airside by other non-price related factors, such as self treating, gifting, impulse and even distress. “As a consequence, there has been a significant increase in sales in categories such as sunglasses, watches, jewellery, technology, fashion and luxury goods.”

Middle East upswing While the global duty free business witnessed a decline in sales in 2009, the Middle East region is reported to have risen by no less than three per cent. Nowhere was this regional growth more evident than at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where duty free retail turnover grew 19 per cent during the first half of 2010 to $75 million, outperforming the airport’s passenger growth of 11.7 per cent over the same period. Furthermore, spend per passenger increased by 7.2 per cent amounting to $14.47 – a clear sign that the airport is succeeding in encouraging travellers to spend more. “We believe two key trends are at play – firstly consumer confidence is returning following the impact of the global economic recession, and secondly Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s (ADAC) investment

programme in Terminal 1 and the upgraded retail offerings in Terminal 3 are delivering results,” suggested CCO, ADAC, Huraiz Almur bin Huraiz. “Our Shop-DineUnwind retail proposition is really reaching out to our customers.” CEO, Dufry International, Julian Diaz provided further explanation of the region’s positive results, highlighting the importance of the Middle East’s hub status for carriers between Europe and Asia, and the direct relationship between passenger traffic and duty free sales. “Passenger traffic saw the fastest global growth in June 2010, with a rise of 18 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to IATA. Middle East carriers have experienced swift recovery from the plunge in growth during the downturn, and indeed grew twice as fast as the nearest runner up,” concluded Diaz.

“The history of airport shopping is based on a strong price advantage, but increasingly passengers are motivated to shop by factors such as self treating, gifting and impulse.” DUTY FREE SCHIPHOL AIRPORT, AMSTERDAM




Gr e e k v e n d i n g concepts Having already renovated and developed new stores in line with new shopping trends, and making the most of its close collaborations with the travel trade, Hellenic Duty Free Shops (HDFS) boasts a network of no less than 90 stores at airports, ports and border stations across Greece. “The commercial centre of Athens Airport is comprised by the newly restored stores: Perfumes, Cosmetics & Folli Follie, Hellenic Gourmet, Luxury, Cava and numerous other stores providing exclusive products at competitive prices,” commented CEO, HDFS, George Velentzas. Moreover, the company also strongly believes that the future of the travel retail sector lies at the extension of the ‘Duty Free Mall’ concept. In this light, by the end of the year HDFS outlets at Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli airports are expected to be restored according to this concept. Additionally, as part of HDFS’ intention to further exploit the potentials of the cruising business, complex stores will be developed at the ports of the Greek islands of Santorini and Corfu.

Shop, dine and unwind

Shop-Dine-Unwind, the retail and F&B brand officially launched in May 2010 at Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA), is now being rolled out at each of Abu Dhabi Airport

Remaining number one

Dubai Duty Free (DDF), the world’s largest airport retail operation, has revealed ambitious plans to open 2,500m2 of retail experiences in the first phase of the upcoming Al Maktoum International Airport. “The focal point of the retail offer in the departures area is a 1,150m2 central 44


retail outlet that incorporates perfumes and cosmetics, luxury goods, fashion, confectionery and electronics,” managing director, DDF, Colm McLoughlin told TTG. On either side of this central area will be two 300m2 retail areas featuring liquor and tobacco in one outlet, and food and confectionery in the other. Meanwhile, in the Arrivals Hall, DDF will offer a 350m2 outlet, strategically located directly in front of the baggage claim belts. “DDF is also looking forward to the opening of Concourse 3 in 2012 at the existing Dubai Airport, where we will also have a retail operation there, and the development that is scheduled for Terminal 2 in the near future,” added McLoughlin.

Company’s (ADAC) five managed airports. A division of ADAC, ShopDine-Unwind follows the long-serving and successful Abu Dhabi Duty Free (ADDF) brand as the

custodian of all aspects related to retail and F&B environments. Seen as a more universal and transferable brand for future expansion plans, Shop-Dine-Unwind, which was initially launched at Terminal 3 of ADIA, will also have a presence in Terminal 1 when the refurbishment programme is complete. With quarter one 2010 results showing that passenger spend at ADIA outpaced passenger growth by 12.3 per cent (13.8 per cent passenger growth versus 26.1 per cent in turnover), signs are that consumer confidence – therefore demand – is returning to the travel retail industry.

UK retail proposition Heathrow Airport Duty Free has revealed it will begin talks with retailers in late 2011/early 2012 regarding collaborations for Heathrow International Airport’s new Terminal 2, currently under construction and set to open in 2014. The retail offer of Terminal 2 will build further on the most successful elements of today’s retail mix at Heathrow International Airport, coupled with a detailed understanding of the passenger mix and their requirements. The mix will range from the mid-market to accessible luxury brands, with a World Duty Free main store in excess of 20,000ft2. The retail proposition includes ‘Brand Room’ – a working title – and will comprise a collection of affordable luxury fashion brands in one area with a unique design and feel. “We are working towards a new retail master plan over the next 18 months for Terminal 3,” revealed retail concessions director, Heathrow International Airport, Brian Woodhead, while talking to TTG. “A luxury zone will also include several new brands to the airport, as well as many current favourites.”

Serving the globe with tax-free goods CEO, Dufry International, Julian Diaz talks to TTG about THE COMPANY'S extensive presence on an international level, as well as ITS proud presence in the MENA region, which is about to INCREASE. Please tell us a bit about Dufry and its impact on the global duty free sector.

to grow with double-digit figures at top line and profit-wise. For the period up to June 30, 2010, the group’s turnover Dufry is one of the leading global increased by 15.8 per cent on travel retailers currently operating constant FX rates, of which oraround 1,100 shops in ganic growth accounted 40 countries and for 10.2 per cent. employing more EBITDA grew by “Counting on Dufry’s 20.3 per cent than 11,400. expertise in the travel We operate on constant retail and duty free globFX rates and ally with a reported sector is the best specific focus net earnguarantee to grow on emerging ings almost their [travel trade’s] markets, tourist doubled to business.” destinations and $60.5 million. markets with growth potential. The company’s What is your current strategy is based on three pillars: presence in MENA, and what organic growth, new concessions plans do you have to further and acquisitions. tap into this market? From 2003 to 2009, the company grew on average 26 per cent per In North Africa we have operaannum. tions in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria In the first half of 2010, the group and Egypt. In Egypt we will performed strongly and continued soon open new departure and


arrival shops in Borg el Arab International Airport and in Asyut International Airport with a total additional retail space of 958m2. Moreover, in the Middle East, Dufry has been successfully operating for 22 years at Sharjah International Airport. The MENA region has been an important one for Dufry for a number of years and we plan to develop our business further organically, through expansions or new projects. What can you tell us about duty free shopping tourists? Dufry is permanently evaluating customer behaviour and general data and developing innovative promotions and sales incentive programmes to increase spend per passenger. In 2010, we launched the ‘Dufry plus1’ project which will run over a three-year period. The general

idea is that every day Dufry is committed to improving its work methods in order to be one step closer to the customers, knowing them better and better, and satisfying their needs. How can the travel trade work closer with Dufry and grow its business from the wider duty free sector? Dufry has close relationships with more than 1,500 of the most important and successful suppliers of all product categories including tobacco, spirits, perfumes and cosmetics, confectionery, electronics, fashion, jewellery and watches and much more. Our overall advice to the travel trade is that counting on Dufry’s expertise in the travel retail and duty free sector is the best guarantee to grow their business. Dufry has demonstrated over the past years that it has been the best partnership option for airport authorities, cruise liners, government bodies and private institutions, all related to the travel industry. SHOPPING TOURISM



Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence ★★★★★ First Mall


Mall is connected. guests can reenter the hotel using their room keys

YES YES YES Concierge

269 YES

ñSouvenir shop, ñRafah Malas, ñjewellery, ñReem Azmy Designs, ñBvlgari, ñTiffany, ñMont Blanc, ñDolce & Gabbana, ñArmani

ñThe Great Pyramids of Giza, ñThe River Nile, ñCairo Zoo, ñBotanical Garden

YES NO YES Concierge, Guest relations, Rent a car services


Dunes Shopping Centre

“Guests are a doorstep away from Cairo’s most exclusive and high end shopping for international brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Tiffany, Bvlgari, Mont Blanc, Rolex, Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Tom Ford and Valentino. All this without having to leave the complex, making Four Seasons First Residence the ideal location of shopping tourists.” Engi Aboulfadl, PR manager

Holiday Inn Dunes, Verdun, Beirut ★★★★ 127 YES

Comm ents

ctions Nearb y attra

Proxim ity to Mall

l servic es Free t ranspo rt to M all Adjoin ing ma lls


shopp ing Onsite

Numb er of k eys Disable d facil ities


Dunes Shopping Centre


MIN Dunes is a part of the hotel complex

ñDown Town, ñRawshe Searock, ñVerdun shopping, ñHamra Street, ñnational museum

“Holiday Inn-Dunes is conveniently located in the heart of the prestigious shopping and business area of Verdun, within the renowned Dunes Shopping Centre and movie theatres. The hotel is the ideal choice for both shopping seekers and families, where Holiday Inn’s worldwide excellence in service combines leisure facilities with latest shopping attractions for an enjoyable and memorable stay.” Wadih Abdel Ahad, Director of sales

Phoenicia Intercontinental Beirut ★★★★★ ñHair Salon ñNail Lounge ñJewellery ñdesigners

YES YES NO Concierge services, private shopping catalogue in all rooms, 10 per cent discount in ABC Department Store.

446 YES



Beirut Souks


ABC mall

MIN ñThe famous Beirut Corniche ñRaouche Pigeon Rock, ñdown town Roman Ruins ñSt. Georges Pool

Jessy Abi Khattar, PR & communications executive

Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel Beirut ★★★★★ YES



Beirut Souks




ABC Mall


Hamra Street


Concierge services

185 YES





“The finest designer brands meet in Beirut making it the Middle Eastern capital of fashion par excellence. In addition to the many malls comprising international boutiques, open air ‘fashion districts’ abound in the streets of Beirut boasting, along with the many designer stores and a plethora of tiny restaurants to provide visitors with a unique, all-day shopping experience.”

ñCorniche ñGemayze Street ñBuddha Bar

“With its prime downtown location, Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel in Beirut is within walking distance of the Mediterranean Sea, trendy shopping areas and renowned cultural attractions. Guests can see the sights of Lebanon’s charismatic capital or simply recharge in the hotel’s ornate indoor pool. This luxury hotel caters to discerning business and leisure travellers.” Nabil Dib-Nehme, Assistant DOSM

Hotel Missoni Kuwait (opening 2011) ★★★★★ 169 YES

Symphony Shopping Mall


ñSymphony Shopping Mall ñMarina ñAl Fanar ñAl Bustan



the Symphony Shopping Mall ñKuwait Towers ñScientific Center ñThe National MusEUm.

“Hotel Missoni Kuwait is located in Salmiya, close to the main shopping area of Kuwait City. The hotel is part of the Symphony Centre, an adjacent luxury boutique shopping mall and close to a shopping district that includes more than 15 other shopping malls and a couple of souks.” Claudia Sfeir, Assistant director of sales



YES Walking distance from the hotel

YES Concierge, Beauty Saloon & Gift Shop

226 YES

Walking distance from Al Ashmak Mall, Centrepoint Mall

Comm ents

ctions Nearb y attra

Proxim ity to Mall

l servic es Free t ranspo rt to M all Adjoin ing ma lls


shopp ing Onsite

Numb er of k eys Disable d facil ities Q A T A R

Millennium Hotel Doha ★★★★★ 5 ñAl Ashmak MIN Mall ñCentrepoint Mall

ñAl Ashmak Mall ñCentrepoint Mall

ñAl Sadd Sports Club ñDoha Zoo ñNational Theatre

“Millennium Hotel Doha presents an ideal location close to numerous attractions in the city, which makes it an ideal option amongst Doha hotels. Being a conveniently located Doha hotel near shopping malls, the National Zoo and the National Theatre, the Millennium Hotel Doha offers benefits beyond compare.” Giorgio Lanfranchi, General manager

Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi ★★★★ Al Wahda Mall


Al Wahda Mall



Al Wahda Mall

Al Wahda Sports Club

Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Dubai ★★★★★ Ibn Battuta Mall



Ibn Battuta Mall right next door

396 YES

“Right next to one of the largest malls in Abu Dhabi, in the heart of the city, Grand Millennium Al Wahda is a shopper’s paradise. I would see this hotel as the strongest offering for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels in the shopping domain.” Tarek Elsherif, Regional DOSM

Very special cross promotions


fashion consultant, concierge knowledge, butler etc

850 YES

Ibn Battuta Mall

ñIbn Battuta Mall ñIbn Battuta Gate

“The Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel is located in ‘New Dubai’ and is part of the multi-faceted Ibn Battuta Square sitting alongside the famed Ibn Battuta Mall and Cineplex, as well as a double-block, 12-storey upscale office and apartment facility. The hotel is set to open its doors to business travellers, city shoppers and seasoned tourists in October 2010.” Toufic Tamim, VP S&M – Middle East, Mövenpick Hotels

Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites, Dubai ★★★★ YES YES NO


Twice daily to Mall of the Emirates


Very well-versed concierge

232 YES


Dubai Marina Mall ñDubai Marina (Mall) ñDubai Yacht Club ñPalm Jumeirah

“Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites is located in the New Dubai. Within a 10 minute walk of the hotel you will find yourself in Dubai Marina, next to Dubai Yacht Club and Dubai Marina Mall, venture a little further on the exciting new Dubai Metro and you are within easy reach anywhere in the city.”

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris ★★★★★ 169 YES

A boutique of jewels, cashmere scarfs, china, perfumes etc

YES NO NO Concierge knowledge and connections, personalised service


Katrina Angeles, PR Coordinator

10 MIN

ñLe Printemps ñGaleries Lafayette ñLe Bon Marché ñChamps Elysées ñArc de Triomphe ñLouvre ñEiffel Tower

“The hotel is located in the Parisian Golden Triangle, providing immediate access to Avenue Montaigne, Avenue François 1er, Champs d’Elysées and Avenue George V, where such shops as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Escada, Paule Ka, Berlutti, Hermès, Gucci, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Armani can be found.” Caroline Mennetrier, Director of PR



Comm ents

ctions Nearb y attra

Proxim ity to Mall

l servic es Free t ranspo rt to M all Adjoin ing ma lls


shopp ing Onsite

Numb er of k eys Disable d facil ities


Hôtel Sofitel Paris le Faubourg ★★★★ YES





4 Golden keys concierges, discounts or gifts, personal shopper in some luxury boutiques at Faubourg Saint-Honoré Excellent location in Faubourg Saint-Honoré district

147 YES 10

ñPrintemps ñGaleries Lafayette

ñMadeleine Church ñPlace de la Concorde ñChamps Elysées ñGrand Palais museum ñTuileries Gardens.

Laurence Seguin, Communication and PR manager

Marriott Paris Champs Elysées Hotel ★★★★★ Dunes Shopping Centre





Personal shopper, concierge knowledge, discounts at Galeries Lafayette & Printemps

192 YES

“The hotel is right in the middle of Faubourg Saint-Honoré where the most renowned fashion brands are located, such as Hermes situated one block away. It is also five minutes from the Madeleine Church area where guests can find numerous outlet boutiques and 10 minutes for the department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.”

ñGaleries Lafayette ñPrintemps ñEiffel Tower ñArc de Triomphe ñLouvre Museum

“Marriott Paris Champs Elysées Hotel is the only hotel located on the famous Avenue des Champs-Elyseés. The dream of any guest who travels to Paris – Lido, restaurants, Vuitton, Guerlain, Cartier etc. Many shops are open until midnight every day and all day long on Sunday (including Sephora, jewelleries and fashion stores). Rue Montaigne (all haute couture stores are very close).”


Delphine Bao, Director of sales Radisson Blu Hotel Milan ★★★★ 2.5




fashion consultant, personal shopper

250 YES Area Corso Sempione – there you can find a lot of shops and entertainment

“Shopping tourists should choose Radisson Blu Hotel, Milan because we have a wonderful spa where they can relax their body and soul after a long shopping day. The hotel is located in the Bovisa District of Milan, with excellent public transport links to the city’s key shopping attractions.” Justina Vaiciute, Sales co-ordinator

YES NO NO Concierge 24/24

185 YES



walking distance


Sofitel London St James, London ★★★★★ ñJermyn Str ñBond Str ñRegent Str ñOxford Str

ñtheatres ñRoyal Academy, ñNational Gallery ñLondon Eye ñWar museum ñBuckingham Palace

“The hotel is located in the most amazing location in central London, at walking distance from all the shops with a Concierge who can help and recommend the best places to go. After shopping, guests can relax with an afternoon tea or enjoy a relaxing treatment in our spa.”


Corinne Cleret, PR and communications manager

Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel ★★★★



Mikimoto, Escada, David Webb

YES NO YES Personal Shopper, complimentary Jewelry Ambassador, 20 per cent off at Saks Fifth Avenue

395 YES

Rodeo Drive is across the street.

1.6 KM

Westfield Century City Beverly Centre




3.2 KM Rodeo Drive across the street!

“Even before our hotel was featured in the movie Pretty Woman, it’s been the most iconic central point of the world’s most famous shopping district – Rodeo Drive. Since then, people from all over easily recognise the streets of Beverly Hills. When you come, you feel the impact of what a special place this is.” Lauren Breuning, PR and sales co-ordinator

TTG Shopping Tourism 2010-2011  

TTG MENA Shopping Tourism Industry Supplement 2010-2011

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